Increase the uptake of apprenticeships

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Client: London Borough of Waltham Forest 

Outcome: Developed an engaging integrated communications strategy to increase the uptake of apprenticeships across the borough using co-creation and dialogic communications principle.


Project: Co-create and write the communications campaign strategy to promote apprenticeships within the council


  • Galvanise staff - ‘Winning hearts and minds’ - behind hiring apprentices in their department
  • Raising awareness of the benefits of:
    1. apprentices in general (50%)
    2. up-skilling existing council staff within apprenticeships scheme (50%) 

Our focus was to ensure the council that employs around 12,000 staff (including schools) is an exemplar to the rest of the Waltham Forest business community. The ambitious project is part of the Council’s large transformation programme to refocus its relationship with its communities and increase life chances of its residents.

Desired outcomes for rolling out the campaign strategy: Phase 1

  • 500 apprenticeships created within the council within 5 years
  • Apprenticeships become the key way of up-skilling staff
  • Waltham Forest Council becomes an exemplar for apprenticeships for the borough
  • Phase 2 of the campaign targets local businesses and employers outside the council


Our process - what we did and how we did it

As this is part of the high-profile transformation programme carried out across the Council, we were tasked to work across many teams and departments to ensure that we deliver a strategy that everyone has been consulted on and feel a collective sense of ownership.

Using our own dialogic communications model which centres around co-creation, we developed a framework to seek insights from across several stakeholder groups. Throughout the 5 week process, we scheduled one to one conversations with hiring managers to gather qualitative insights and developed a staff poll to gather a broader picture of  pinions and perceptions. We held a workshop where we used several design thinking tools to ideate with current apprentices and hiring managers, then harnessed the many ideas to help us formulate ‘the big idea’ for the campaign.



Using all the insight and knowledge gained, we developed a winning strategy and campaign plan that the Council can implement. 

Time was of the essence. In just under 5 weeks, we quickly imbedded ourselves with the Council and its culture, had 50 conversations, held a staff survey, pitched the initial idea to seek iterations from the project team and presented the final communications strategy which has clear links to the current campaigns and activities, particularly the Council’s Borough of Culture programme.