Arch Apprentice helps companies source young talent within digital marketing and IT

By Nicole Miskelly | 31 July 2014

With over 60% of young people deciding not to go to University and many employers struggling to find reliable digital marketing and IT talent in graduate programmes, Arch Apprentices provides a formal training programme for young people to work in their desired digital field without needing a degree. The apprenticeship which is backed by the Government’s Apprenticeship Programme and lasts for just over a year, gives companies access to eager young talent, whilst providing apprentices with real experience, a recognised training qualification and a working wage. bobsguide talks to Ben Rowland, Co-Founder of Arch, about the apprenticeship programme and how it takes the ‘pain’ out of sourcing new young talent.

Tell me more about Arch?

Arch Apprentices was established in 2012 by the Blenheim Chalcot Group and its biggest company Agilisys to enable employers to tap into a hidden pool of talent that is not usually available to them. Arch provides a formal training programme that focuses on 17-19 year olds (although the programme is open to 16-23 year olds) that have made the decision not to go to University and with recent news reports suggesting  a quarter of graduate employers are struggling to fill roles with satisfactory employees, Arch provides a solution.

We recognise that many young people not going to University are extremely eager to get into their desired industry. Arch Apprentices gain a formal recognised training qualification and a wage paid by the employer. Qualifications are financially supported by the government and apprentices are usually paid between £8,000 and £12,000. Arch has placed 350 young people in apprenticeships so far and 90% of our apprentices who have completed their apprentiships are now in permanent roles within the organisations they were placed.

Why was Arch established and what market need does it fill?

Arch was established because we found many companies have a strong need for digital marketing and IT talent. In the IT industry there are around 120,000 known job vacancies and because digital marketing is such a fast-growing industry it is extremely expensive to recruit good candidates. Companies are also finding it increasingly hard to hire reliable and enthusiastic employees that remain in the position long-term. Arch places apprentices into roles for over a year and then at the end of the programme employers can choose to hire the apprentice permanently.

Arch Apprentices at computer

How does Arch provide a ‘painkiller’ for its target audience?

Companies are often unsure where to find the right young people to hire and also don’t understand government funded qualifications. Arch advertises the job position, sources the right young person for the role and provides all of the support and off-the-job training. As a Government approved training provider, the training costs are also funded by the Government, rather than the employer.

What apprentice programmes do you run?

We focus on providing apprentices within technology roles such as IT and digital marketing, including web development, application (app) creation and technical sales etc. Our technical sales apprenticeship is in partnership with Hewlett-Packard (HP) and places apprentices within pre-sales consultancy roles. We have three HP apprenticeships which include; IT Technician, Business Analyst and Technical Sales.

Where have you placed some of your apprentices?

We work with over 100 companies and have provided apprentices for Google, Facebook, Barclays, The Guardian, Hearst Magazines and IPG etc.

How does Arch source their apprentices?

We currently attract around 1,000 applicants per month who have found us through Google advertising, recruitment sites, social networking, word-of-mouth and referrals.

Why should young people choose this route rather than going to University?

The Arch training programme provides young people with a three year head start into the industry, in comparison to attending University for three years and seeking a job afterwards. Alongside this, young people can avoid debt, start earning money straight away, and also gain on-the-job skills. Apprentices learn a great deal from the company during their placement and receive a qualification, and the possibility a job offer at the end of it.

Arch Apprentices training

What are the benefits to businesses taking on apprentices through Arch?

Many companies are looking in the same old places to source new talent and the hardest part is getting them to recognise new and easier ways of finding this talent. Arch does the hard work by finding the right apprentice for the role and provides businesses with cost-effective talent that can be moulded to their needs and requirements. We act as a trusted partner and provide support to companies every step of way. We have also built a solid reputation by working with big companies such as Google and Hearst Magazines.

Where do you see Arch in 5 years?

We hope to see Arch placing thousands, rather than hundreds of young people into the IT and digital industries per year and also be recognised as one of the top five sources of talent for these industries. In the future, if there is a market need, we also hope to branch out into other sectors.

What do Arch Apprentices have to say about the programme?

“My experience with bobsguide has been one of enjoyment and a real learning curve. I feel very lucky to be working at a global company, whereby I am able to experience every aspect of digital marketing and further my skills and development in the industry. The opportunity to work closely with the CEO and learn about a new industry has been one I will take with me in the future.”

Deborah Roberto, Digital Marketing Executive, bobsguide

“Arch has provided a fantastic gateway for my career in digital marketing. When I joined at the age of 17 was blown away by this world on online advertising (that I had no idea even existed beforehand!) and was lucky enough to be placed in a fantastic digital marketing agency, which gave me the chance to learn and develop my skills during my apprenticeship. After I finished my qualification I had earned a full time position with Contentive where I continue to grow within an amazing role, none of this would have been achievable without Arch Apprentices.”

Connor King, Search Performance Analyst, Contentive

Arch Apprentices

For more information on the Arch Apprentices programme contact Ben Jones on 07583 541 917 or at

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