Working Digital 2018 – The Obligatory Post-Event Blog

Well, after much planning and hype, Working Digital 2018 is finally in the rear-view mirror. This was a truly fantastic event for the entire Worksmart team, as well as the wider world of Ayrshire business. We were treated to two nights of interesting and engaging speakers, and we will tell you a bit more below.

Night One opened with an introduction via satellite from LA (which was a lot sunnier than Kilmarnock where the event was held), with renowned social media consultant and author Jay Baer providing an excellent start to the event. Our first speaker of the evening was Alan Stewart of Ofcom, who provided a fascinating talk on the use of technology among the younger generation. With statistics such as 21% of 3-4 year olds have their own tablet and almost 4 in 10, 8-11 year olds, it shows the huge potential of marketing in the future. After this talk, we were treated to a talk by previous Working Digital speaker, Gillian Reith of Three Sisters Bake. They have experienced significant growth since the last event, with Three Sisters Bake now having two cafes throughout Scotland.

The final speaker for night 1 was Helena Langdon, the Head of Digital at Innocent Smoothies, who are renowned for their excellent social media content. She explained how Innocent built their online presence, and how it differs from other companies. This was an excellent and entertaining presentation, with plenty of insight into how to bring out the more human side of your brand.

Night Two began with an engaging chat from Joanna Steele of Dimax, who has worked with some massive brands including Argos and Mothercare. She spoke about the various ways technology can be used to enhance your physical retail space, such as tablets to allow for more efficient ordering. After this, Robert Gillespie of Swipii provided information on customer retention, as well as giving practical tips on how to gain new customers. His story of helping Swipii grow was particularly interesting. Finally, the last speaker of Working Digital 2018 was Stephen Whitelaw of Orthic Consulting, who have valuable insight into the future of commerce. This was both a fascinating and frightening talk, showing the lengths that organisations are going to in order to gain insight on their customers.

Over the two days of Working Digital, Worksmart were exhibiting, which allowed us to distribute our brand new brochures. It also gave visitors the chance to try our VR headset, prior to the prize draw. This was won by Martin from Ayrshire College, who was thrilled to win such a fantastic prize.

Overall, Working Digital 2018 was a fantastic event. It gave us the opportunity to project the Worksmart brand in front of a new audience, as well as learning lots about digital marketing. We would like to thank East Ayrshire Council for organising, and a special thanks must be given to Colin Kelly and Gary Ennis for their excellent hosting, and we can’t wait for the next one.

 

#WorkingDigital18

#makeitworksmart

#FitOutTop500

#KieranJohnstone

My Journey as an Apprentice

Hi, I’m Kieran but you’ve already guessed that by my photo at the top of the page. I’m the current happy, smiley face (or grumpy one, depending on who you ask) of Worksmart, and have been their Digital Marketing Apprentice for the last 14 months. I’ll tell you a bit about my journey, and some the things I’m responsible for.

I left school halfway through sixth year in January 2017, when the opportunity arose for me to join the Worksmart team after two interviews. I had been applying for several apprenticeships at that time, however Worksmart were the one that appealed to me the most. I have had a passion for business – and in particular marketing – since I started secondary school, so this was the perfect fit for me. I started here on January 26th 2017, and haven’t looked back since.

I have been largely responsible for managing all our social media channels for the last year, including our Facebook and Twitter. This has resulted in several campaigns over the time, including the #25DaysofWorksmart posts in December. I have also been heavily involved in building Worksmart’s strong relationship with the FIS, creating content such as an interview with Amanda Scott.

Another favourite part of my job has been getting to grips with web design, which is something I had very little knowledge of prior to joining Worksmart. However, following some excellent training from Ryan at Solutions on Demand (and a few 404 errors along the way), I have become far more competent in working on websites. This has involved everything from making case studies to writing blogs, such as the one you are reading just now.

Finally, my favourite part of my job has been becoming integrated with the team. From becoming renowned for my excellent tea-making (and questionable lunch retrieving skills) to always being happy to help around the office when required, I couldn’t have joined a better team for my first job.

Overall, an apprenticeship is absolutely one of the best starts in the world of work anyone can have. It gives you some excellent life experience, as well as giving you the ability to earn a wage while you learn. If my words have inspired you, visit https://www.apprenticeships.scot/ to find out more.

#makeitworksmart #FitOutTop500 #KieranJohnstone

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018

 

This week, the 5th – 9th of March is Scottish Apprenticeship Week. This is a government initiative used to promote the benefits of apprenticeships, and the positive impact they can have on the apprentice, the business that employs them and the economy. Worksmart have consistently used apprentices throughout our 15 years in business.

Worksmart primarily employs their apprentices in the fit-outs side of the business, with currently six apprentice joiners working on our sites all across the UK. We take on both younger apprentices straight into the trade and mature apprentices who are looking for to pursue their passion while also learning a trade. These apprentices have become vital aspects to our refurbishments and fit-outs, with the ability to work with specialist glazed partitioning. This is a specialist material that most joiners do not get to work with until much later in their career, which helps to give us the most highly skilled workers possible both now and in the future.

Worksmart are acutely aware of the well documented skill shortages in the construction industry. There appears to be a general reluctanceto employ apprentices, with only 2% of construction workers being apprentices according to the FIS. Also, 54% of companies didn’t employ apprentices in 2016, showing the lack of opportunities available. We have therefore built strong relationships with organisations such as CITB and Ayrshire College, to allow us to improve the next generation of tradespeople.

So how do these apprentices help Worksmart? Firstly, it helps us to build strong relationships with the younger generation. These young people are the future, and employing apprentices also means that Worksmart can have a highly talented workforce for years to come as a result of the high levels of training they receive. Worksmart pride themselves on our hard work and dedication to improving the young workforce.

We hope this has shown both the benefits of using apprentices and the ways in which Worksmart use our own. We are at the forefront of ensuring that the skills gap that exists within this industry is reduced. If more organisations do not act urgently, there will be no apprenticeships available in future. This will only further increase the skills gap within our industry.

#makeitworksmart #FitOutTop500 #KieranJohnstone