Apprenticeships

Building a credible, aspirational alternative to Higher Education

For those young people that didn’t go to University the paths available used to be littered with dead ends.

The government recognised the need to create a more credible alternative to higher education – and move vocational education from an inferior alternative to something that had full support of employers, credibility with parents and enough kudos to attract young people.

Rise a ‘new era’ of apprenticeships.

The National Apprenticeship Service was set up to pioneer this transformation. Whilst great in-roads had been made, it was shackled by a tired and confusing identity, which consequently meant it was unable to effectively connect with people.

Previous identity for Apprenticeships

OLD APPRENTICESHIPS IDENTITY

Through in depth qualitative research to identify needs and behaviours of its audiences, mapping user journeys and auditing the existing experience, it became apparent that if we were to address this challenge we needed to fundamentally shift the way the service was organised.

Apprenticeships graphs

We therefore proposed that the service adopt a new brand architecture, effectively creating two distinct brands: ‘National Apprenticeship Service’ was positioned as the ‘go to’ for employers and the authority on apprenticeships. It was also the internal brand. Alongside this, the ‘Apprenticeships’ brand was designed to connect with young people and their parents. It was positioned as the external product of the service.

We enable our nation to generate a more highly skilled workforce. Through Apprenticeships, skills competitions and awards, which create opportunity, support development and showcase excellence.

Our endeavours enable us to: 

  • transform the lives of our people
  • stimulate growth and strengthen our economy
  • instill pride in the skilled people of our nation

NAS BOILERPLATE

NAS Boilerplate

BRAND ARCHITECTURE

To maintain a relationship between the two brands we created the core thought of ‘Inspiring Transformation’. This provided a consistent spirit and attitude to communication, but allowed for different expressions both between the two brands and amongst them.

Inspiring transformation core thought for Apprenticeships

This simple idea immediately enabled each brand to speak with a message and tone that resonated. It focused and streamlined communication and gave the service the agility it needed.

Apprenticeships illustration Apprenticeships illustration
Apprenticeships illustration Apprenticeships illustration

Throughout the process we consulted with internal teams across the nation and ran a comprehensive internal engagement campaign. We actively encouraged local government and employers to adopt the Apprenticeships brand for their own campaigns, so we piloted campaigns in specific regions to create best practice models for other local campaigns to follow.

NAS notebook
NAS posters
Apprenticeships result

YEAR ON YEAR INCREASE IN APPRENTICESHIP APPLICATIONS

Process

Purpose were the lead agency for the project collaborating with specialist partners where necessary.

See

  • Qualitative and quantitative research (In collaboration with ICM Research)
  • Audience journey maps
  • Brand experience audit


Think

  • Brand strategy
  • Brand architecture
  • Campaign planning (In collaboration with Mindshare and Claremont PR)


Create

  • Visual and verbal identity
  • Photographic and illustrative assets
  • Messaging framework (In collaboration with Claremont PR)
  • Exhibition stand design and build (In collaboration with Skyline)
  • National awards conference (In collaboration with Fresh Events)
  • Apprenticeship vacancies app
  • Internal communication campaign
  • National advertising campaign (In collaboration with Mindshare and Claremont PR)


Do

  • Brand guidelines
  • Campaign toolkits
  • Creative surgeries
  • Appointing and managing brand ambassadors
  • Building online asset management system
Apprenticeships result

A RECORD 11 APPLICATIONS BEING MADE FOR EACH UK APPRENTICESHIP POSITION

Apprenticeships result

INCREASE IN WEBSITE VISITS

Apprenticeships result

INCREASE IN SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITY

Results

Through the collective endeavour of everybody working both at and with the National Apprenticeship Service we have transformed the perceptions and impact of Apprenticeships.

The Apprenticeships identity has also been recognised in many design industry awards too.

We have worked with Purpose for a number of years and they are very familiar with the skills landscape. They bring a wealth of knowledge, creativity and skill to projects, and have proven their capability on countless occasions. Always eager to understand the needs of your business and its audiences, projects are extremely well managed, 
with deadlines and expectations met, 
if not exceeded.
Nikki Shuttleworth – Head of Apprenticeships Marketing & Communications, NAS