Mathew Thoma’s apprenticeship story

20-year-old Matthew Thoma is a web editor at Contentive and started out his career as an apprentice. Matt worked for 12 months as an editorial apprentice at Contentive before securing a full-time position with the company.

Here, he reflects on his time as an Arch apprentice.

How did you hear about apprenticeships and what made you decide to do one?
When I finished sixth form, I was in two minds; should I go to university or get a job? I had already secured my place at university but I could always defer for a year if I found a full-time job or an apprenticeship. I was looking online and in newspapers before coming across Arch in the East End Advertiser. My decision to do an apprenticeship was decided on the fact that university cost far too much and with an apprenticeship I would gain valuable work experience, receive on the job training and earn some money.

Many young people assume that as an apprentice they will be given mundane, insignificant tasks. What would you say to these people?
I would say that this isn’t the case, and especially with my employer. They gave me tasks which would help me in my future career. I was able to build up a portfolio as I worked as a sub-editor across a number of different news portals and I also worked across different parts of the business; I spent 3 months working in the digital marketing team.

During your apprenticeship, did you find balancing work with study challenging?
No, not at all. With my apprenticeship I began working four days a week and training once a week before working for a month then having a week of training. My work and study was balanced well and I didn’t have any problems.

Were you assigned a mentor and if so, how did they help you through the apprenticeship?
Yes, I was assigned a mentor and they helped me a lot. I was always in communication with them via email and if I had any problems they would take their time out to help me.

You now work as a web editor at Contentive. How do you think your apprenticeship prepared you for this role?
I think my apprenticeship helped me prepare for my role as a web editor as they gave me the opportunity to show my employer that I was good enough to be offered a full-time position. Also because I already worked at the company I was already settled in and writing for some of the websites.

What advice would you give to young people unsure whether or not to go to university or do an apprenticeship?
I would suggest people do an apprenticeship as you receive on the job training, valuable work experience, meet great people and hopefully receive a full-time position when you finish.