Some of the region’s leading creative agencies and marketing teams have come together to launch the UK’s first industry-led social media apprenticeship scheme.

Launched to coincide with National Apprenticeship Week, the programme, which is being spearheaded by Tangerine PR, will aim to fill an industry-wide skills gap by training young professionals in the practical application of social media.

The scheme will be delivered through a mixture of theoretical and work-place learning, covering all elements of social media management. The pilot programme will be based initially in the North West and will begin in the summer.

Industry specialists and guest lecturers will deliver some elements of the programme. Modules covered will include Social Media Management, Developing Content for Social Sharing, Developing a Digital Strategy, Keyword Analysis and SEO, and Social Media for Mobile.

The intention is to have four intakes of apprentices throughout the year, who will be employed full-time in local businesses, taking time out to learn theoretical and practical skills.

Tangerine's Anna Wilson

Tangerine’s Anna Wilson

Tangerine’s head of integrated and digital strategy, Anna Wilson, who will lead the programme, said: “Colleges and learning providers are doing a great job of delivering apprenticeships across the UK but we felt this Apprenticeship could be delivered most effectively by an employer in the industry.

“The course will combine industry-leading insight with practical application of technique and uses Tangerine’s investment-led approach to really empower young people to succeed in the field.

“Social media is not an enigma, it’s a science and this apprenticeship will be truly employer-led, delivered by practising professionals who will give real insight into using social media in a professional context.”

John Myers, head of apprenticeships at the National Apprenticeship Service, added: “We worked with Tangerine on the very successful Creative Break programme and Sandy has been an Ambassador for Apprenticeships for many years.

“I can’t tell you how delighted I am that an employer which is totally immersed in social media will be delivering the Apprenticeship itself, and that other companies are also seeing the opportunity and volunteering their support.

“I believe the best apprenticeships are delivered by employers themselves and I know Tangerine will go the extra mile in making the programme a success.”

The apprenticeship will be supported by an advisory panel, currently being formed, to include:

  • Sandy Lindsay, Group MD, Tangerine PR & North West chair of the PRCA
  • William Lees-Jones, MD, JW Lees
  • Scott Jefferson, marketing director, Pets at Home
  • Nicky Unsworth, chief executive, BJL; IPA council member; deputy chair Tribe Global; MIDAS operational board member
  • Lou Cordwell, CEO, MagneticNorth; chair, FutureEverything; director, SharpFutures
  • Katie Gallagher, business development director, Manchester Digital
  • Bryan Adams, MD, PH Creative
  • John Myers, head of apprenticeships, National Apprenticeship Service
  • Penni Owen, programme development manager, Total People

For more information or to express an interest in becoming an employer/apprentice, contact