Vodafone are dedicated to early engagement activity to support school students on the skills they need to take the first steps in their career.
As a large apprenticeship employer, they have a mission to reposition their brand to ensure that they are known not just as a telecommunication company but also as an employer of choice across all of their early career programmes.
As an employer with multiple opportunities with technology, they know there is more to be done in the apprenticeship sector to increase the knowledge of skills that school students have and how these can be transferable into the world of work.
Together, RMP Enterprise and Vodafone formulated a digital campaign – The Future Skills Builder – to build confidence and upskill students so that they felt ready to consider applying to apprenticeship programmes.
The campaign had three clear objectives:
- Upskill young people and give them confidence in careers
- Support students from a diverse and lower socioeconomic background
- Build a pre-pipeline of talent for Vodafone’s apprenticeship opportunities
To achieve this we created an innovative, gamified digital experience for school students and school and college leavers which all centered around skills they were likely to already have.
These included: Customer focus and innovation, problem solving and collaboration, communication and adapting to change.
All individuals that took part would then be invited to learn more about each skill, were sent examples of the skill used in the world of work and were also able to attend networking and insight sessions with Vodafone.
In total, the campaign was seen by over 218,000 of the target audience with over 500 young people going through the full journey.
The Future Skills Builder surpassed all diversity targets too with a 50% female engagement rate and 39% of entrants identified as being from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background.
What we learned
From this campaign there were four key learnings:
1. The importance of building confidence
For many young people an apprenticeship will be their first job therefore it is crucial that we build their confidence as they make this transition into the workforce.
Using technology, adding a gamification element and focusing on skills they may already be aware of, really helped to support this.
You can read more about the importance of building confidence from the Student Futures Commission.
2. Making the skills needed for a job relatable
We identified the importance for students to understand how transferable their existing skills are. We wanted to give guidance on how to communicate the skills they already have by showcasing the practical skills needed for opportunities at Vodafone.
The Future Skills Builder campaign debunked complex terms such as ‘consumer facing’ to ‘customer focussed’ into practical and relatable skills.
3. How to reach lower socio-economic and diverse audiences
When looking to reach students from a diverse and/or lower socioeconomic background, it is imperative to have a multi-channel approach to reach far and wide. With this in mind, we looked at schools and college partnerships with a high population of Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic background students as well as a high population of students on free school meals.
We combined this with a social media campaign and an email marketing campaign as well as a campaign directed at careers advisors, teachers and parents.
For every entry to the Future Skills Builder, we captured student data on gender, ethnicity and free school meal status to adapt and modify our marketing to ensure we were reaching students from diverse backgrounds.
Watch our webinar on why the UK is still socially immobile and what to do about it
4. Engagement is high
Over 100,000 emails were sent as part of the campaign via an annual RateMyApprenticeship media campaign reaching students, school/careers staff and parents with an average open rate between 39%-59%.
This shows that students were super engaged with content that is there to support their learning and career journeys. Employers should consider how to centre content around jobs in a way that is engaging, inclusive and helps to ultimately support the decision making process.
Results from the campaign
- Over 218k students reached throughout the campaign!
- 98 sign ups to the stage three skills session with a 37% conversion to attendance!
- Open rates of over 39%
- “Wow, what a privilege to win and thank you for such a fun and educational quiz!” (Prize Winner)
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