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Nicole Thomas – Creative Digital Design apprentice, EMR

Jack Arksey

Meet Nicole Thomas
Nicole Thomas - Creative Digital Design Apprentice

As a global leader in sustainable materials, EMR is committed to offering apprenticeships across its business – to both existing employees and new starters looking to join this fast-moving and exciting industry.

As part of EMR’s Learning and Development (L&D) team, Nicole Thomas is currently working towards a degree, apprenticeship level 6, in Creative Digital Design, her second apprenticeship since joining the company as a Level 3 Junior Content Producer apprentice in 2021.

“My apprenticeships have been so valuable as they’re giving me some insight into the pathway I might want to take for the rest of in my career,”

she says

Although Nicole’s current apprenticeship began as part of the L&D team, it has provided an opportunity to see other parts of the business – allowing her to build a more holistic understanding of EMR’s operations.

“The apprenticeship isn’t just tied down to one role. I’m realising that I will be able to add value from the assignments I am being set in different areas of the business, too.”

One example of this is Nicole’s work with EMR’s marketing team, spearheading a project that will improve the experience of future apprentices:

“For my user experience assignment, I had a bit of help from EMR’s digital marketer to improve some of the links on our website. At the moment, we don’t have anything that links directly to our careers page for any potential apprentices that visit our website.

“As an apprentice on the L&D team, I wanted to use this assignment to focus on the process of being an apprentice, but I also wanted to do some work with marketing, and this tied it all in.”

One of the advantages of EMR’s approach to apprenticeships is the certainty employees can have about the next step of their career, says Nicole:

“When I started my first course, I knew that there would be a position at the end of it because EMR doesn’t offer apprenticeships if there isn’t a role available at the end.”

As with a traditional university course, Nicole’s apprenticeship is enabling her to meet people from a range of diverse backgrounds – and industries.

“On my course, I’m also working with apprentices from companies such as Amazon and it’s really interesting to hear how these businesses are run. I’m hoping I can learn about some of the things they are doing which we can bring to EMR.”

And while Nicole is working towards a degree-level apprenticeship – and gaining the valuable experience of meeting new people that comes from traditional university courses – there is one significant difference between her and those of her friends who have recently graduated.

“A lot of my friends have done degrees and are now getting a bit of a shock. They are starting to pay off huge debts and I don’t think they’ve had the same exposure to the world of work as we’re getting as apprentices.”

On top of this, Nicole feels that her apprenticeship is allowing her to be part of EMR’s own success story.

“As a business, EMR is investing in its future and going through a lot of changes. As an apprentice, I feel like I’m growing with EMR and I’m a part of that journey. It’s really exciting and I don’t think that I would get that experience if it wasn’t for this course.”