Ian Farrar, Founder of Far North, shared with us how he has recruited an apprenticeship during the pandemic, and how it is one of the best things he has done.
Far North, based in South Tyneside, is a sales and marketing company, founded in 2015. Using an associate model, Ian was the only employee within the company.
A lot of the work that Ian does within Far North is training and business coaching, along with face to face consultancy. Due to COVID-19, this was no longer possible, and Far North had to pivot to using online systems.
As the pandemic took a hit on businesses, Ian decided to use his skills to turn to online delivery, which he had done part of in the past, but he saw an opportunity to expand this into content creation. Ian interviewed 16 guests back to back for nine hours and created a webinar series which was streamed using new software across multiple social media platforms. The reaction and engagement to this webinar series was monumental, and Ian continued this, interviewing a total of 50 guests during lockdown.
Knowing that he would need support on this moving forward, Ian reached out to MTC and they helped to provide Ian with a shortlist of people that would be able to support him in an apprenticeship capacity. MTC recognised someone who would be a perfect fit for Ian and Far North, knowing that he needed someone who was keen to learn and had an appreciation for social media and the digital industry.
One day they did the interview via Zoom, and the same day, Ian decided to bring Mischa on board to assist him with Far North’s digital marketing. Despite never meeting in person, Misha and Ian hit it off straight away, and after applying for the Business Bounce Back Loan, Ian could guarantee paying Mischa’s salary for the year.
Mischa joined Far North with no previous experience around podcasting or live streamed business shows, but she is now the producer of a podcast series, manages the website, writes the show notes and promotes it via social platforms, along with SEO, social media and working with the latest tech.
The main benefit og hiring an apprentice for Ian has been that he can focus on delivery and Mischa is able to train and shadow Ian around his day to day life, this on the job learning has impacted her and Far North positively. Time management of the business is much better, as it allows Ian to focus on what he is passionate about, and provides Mischa a platform of learning all aspects of the roll, as well a expanding her knowledge and time into new opportunities for Far North.
When Ian was younger, he was an apprentice an easy one. He wants to get young people into employment as soon as possible, getting paid whilst learning.
The one tip Ian wanted to share was that research and development is integral for any and all businesses, but understands that most won’t have the time or resource to be able to do it. Hiring Mischa has allowed Far North to explore new venues that wouldn’t have been possible without the hiring and suport of an apprentice.