Publishing Assistant Apprenticeships: from both sides

BlogCareers in Publishing

The first Publishing Assistant Apprentices have completed their training. We caught up with Zoe Mair (former Apprentice) and Anne Ashworth (Head of Employee Apprenticeships at Pearson) and asked them about their experiences.

Zoe Mair
Zoe Mair

Tell us a little bit about your role at Pearson

I work as a Digital Content Specialist in the Digital and Assessment team, which sits within the UK Schools division of Pearson. My main day-to-day job involves supporting the subject teams so that they can deliver their content on our various digital platforms.

What have your learnt on the Programme?

I have learnt lots of things that I wouldn’t normally be exposed to in my regular job; I’ve had a chance to explore rights and publishing law, the publishing process from start to finish and the role of sales within the industry.

How has the apprenticeship benefitted you?

The apprenticeship has given me a great opportunity to network with other young publishing professionals who are just starting out in the industry. Across the cohort we have apprentices working in all different areas of publishing such as trade, academic and journals, so it’s been a great opportunity to get to know the wider industry.

What has been the main thing you enjoyed while being an apprentice?

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the other apprentices on the course and understanding more about their companies and what they do. It’s been really interesting to get that insight into the wider industry so early on in my career.

How did you find working and studying remotely and going through End-Point-Assessment during such a challenging time?

Like most people, I found it tricky to adjust to at first. However, as time went on I found working from home really enjoyable as it has allowed me to be more flexible with my working patterns which has been especially useful in the leadup to the EPA when I needed to focus more on preparing for that. The EPA itself worked really well remotely and I don’t feel that it impacted my experience of it in a negative way.

What advice would you give to potential apprentices that are considering applying for a publishing assistant apprenticeship?

I’d say go for it! It’s a fantastic opportunity both for those who are looking for a route into the industry or for those already working in publishing but who want to learn some new skills.

Anne Ashworth
Anne Ashworth

Anne Ashworth, Head of Employee Apprenticeships at Pearson, shared her experience of working with Zoe and their other Publishing Assistant Apprentice, Will:

Pearson has a long and established presence in educational publishing.  We produce learning resources, textbooks, learning aids and learning apps that all support the development of students and teachers.  This requires a wonderful team of publishing assistants, editors, product managers and managers.

We were part of the Publishing Assistant trailblazer group and have always felt that apprentices joining all parts of our business were hugely beneficial as they bring in new ideas and different experiences.  We have had an annual cohort of publishing apprentices join our Learning Services team since 2018 who have gone on to become digital and learning specialists and junior editors and I am sure they will continue to thrive and progress through our business. 

The Publishing Assistant apprenticeship provides us with a progression route for entry-level roles in this part of our business alongside a formal training programme that meets our needs and that of other employers.  We have worked closely with LDN Apprenticeships (the training provider for this standard) as part of their Employer Advisory Group to develop the content and delivery model so that is fit for the publishing sector to meet the demands of the 21st century and the move into a more digital format for content.  Alongside the learning we provide internally this has proved hugely beneficial for the apprentices but also for their line managers.

Will and Zoe have done very well and are the first in the country to achieve this particular apprenticeship. Their managers have been pivotal in providing excellent support and guidance throughout and in developing their job as they become more proficient and expert.  We recruit our apprentices into permanent roles in Pearson so Will and Zoe are now firmly embedded into their roles and teams.

For more information about the Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship (which now recruits on a rolling basis) visit LDN Apprenticeships.