Case study: Digital apprentice makes a difference in food company’s marketing department

3rd February 2022

Before embarking on an apprenticeship, Rory Thomas had started a university course before realising that he wanted to do something that allowed him to be hands-on while also having the opportunity to study.

Rory, now a Level 3 digital apprentice, works for Organico and recently completed his apprenticeship with flying colours. He said that an apprenticeship suited him best and that he learns better in ‘live environments’.

“I thought that working alongside getting a qualification would be a better option for me.Instead of having metaphorical situations that you learn from books, you’re dealing with real situations and people – working collaboratively.

“I think actually having tasks to do that mattered made me feel like I had a bit more responsibility and that helped me learn.”

Rory, who was brought in to support marketing the brand in 2020, was given responsibility for the upkeep of the company’s social media platforms and websites. His role has also involved visiting and working at trade events and liaising with content creators.

Since then, he has transformed the company’s digital department, and taken ownership of its social media strategy. He has also doubled its Instagram following.

“Initially Organico’s social media pages were photography-heavy but since I have been on board, we have changed how it looks and runs, including the scheduling of posts. There is definitely a lot more structure to the social channels.

“Being able to contribute to the look, feel and brand as a whole has allowed the platforms to grow, which has boosted my confidence in the process.”

Teamwork and achieving goals
Rory attributes his growth to the college and his line manager, Lee, who he says has played an integral role in helping him gain experience and expertise.

“Having worked for Organico for almost two years now, I still get different tasks that I have never done before and it’s exciting.

“The whole team has been really good and supportive. Working from home at the start was a little challenging but many of us were in the same boat, and Lee has been very helpful throughout the whole process – he is always a message away to give me a hand with anything.

“Charles, who is the Managing Director, is very good at supporting people with their progress and learning more about the industry. He really knows how to encourage people, especially when it comes to professional development.”

Commenting on Rory’s role, Lee Switzer, Organico’s Sales and Marketing Manager, said:
“Rory is very personable and immediately fit in well with our team. Due to lockdowns and limited numbers in the office, we haven’t been in the same room as much as we would like, and perhaps he has missed out on some of the more organic learning that takes place when you’re present in a working environment, but he has adapted very well and taken time to learn the products, the ethos and the language of the company. He has also brought his own ideas and a fresh skill set, allowing us to freshen up and redesign our socials.”

“Taking on an apprentice has been a massive help to us. We have been expanding our marketing efforts, and having someone to support us in that area, bringing a fresh young perspective, and constantly gaining new and up-to-date knowledge through their education has been instrumental in shaping our strategy over the last year.”

Looking to the future
Rory now has plans to progress onto the Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing.

“In the short-term, I am looking to stay on at Organico and progress onto the Level 4 programme. I have been liaising with the college about the next steps. Long-term, I am hoping I will progress onto, and complete a Level 6 marketing apprenticeship.”

“ Doing an apprenticeship has been eye-opening for me. The combination of learning while working is beneficial and a really good balance. It also gives you a better understanding and knowledge of your job role. It is definitely a lot better than sitting in a classroom and listening to someone talk about it, it’s a lot easier learning on the job.”

Did You Know?
Did you know we have 541,720,573 resources at Leeds City College?

Did you know we have 541,720,573 resources at Leeds City College?

The resources include books, journals, e-books, videos, encyclopedias and more. These resources are the combined total number of resources at Joseph Priestley Centre, Beeston, Rothwell Centre, The Annexe, Printworks Campus and Park Lane Campus. We also have 12,277 e-books across Leeds City College libraries and more than 500,000 videos!

Leeds City College