Matt Hobbs is April’s Learner of the Month

Our Learner of the Month for April is Matt Hobbs, a Digital Marketing Executive at Gill Graphics, an award-winning Design and Marketing agency based in Halifax. Matt is currently undertaking his Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship, and was nominated for the award by his Trainers.

Training Manager, Carl Ennis, nominated Matt: “Matt came into training with an open mind and very eager to learn, it was evident within the first ten minutes that he was going to put everything into his time at Estio.

“Matt was very professional and applied himself throughout to the highest standards, he produced some excellent work especially an excellent photograph, attempting to get a blur background whilst capturing a moving object. He also volunteered to help out with a project that was running that week and wanted to be involved in the production of a video recording that was used for National Apprenticeship Week. Matt really surprised me with how confident he was dealing with clients and members of Estio staff and was a really good help throughout.

“I have no doubt that Mat is going to be very successful with his time at Estio and Gill Graphics.”

Fast motion photograph of man on bike in city centre

Photograph Matt took during Training at Estio’s Leeds Training Centre

Gill Graphics specialise in Website Development, Graphic Design and Markeitng using various Google and Social Media channels. They work with businesses from all over the UK, from start-ups to multi-million pound corporations.

We caught up with Matt to discuss his apprenticeship at Gill Graphics, and his training at Estio:

“I chose to pursue a career in Digital Marketing after spending 5 years travelling and working around Europe as a Ski Instructor, and teaching Sailing and other water sports. I thoroughly enjoyed this work, but after a few years travelling I felt it may be time for me to take on a new challenge.

“I had previously helped out in a marketing department for a music venue, and after seeing an advert for an apprenticeship in digital marketing, I realised this would be the perfect opportunity to spend a year gaining a well-recognised and desired qualification.

“I knew that I wanted to work in Digital Marketing because it is an ever-expanding industry. The rise in technology and social media has opened up lots of opportunities for different career paths. Most industries need to have an online presence or platform to survive in the business world. From a website or blog to social media and advertising the opportunities are endless.

“My job is very creative and there is a lot of freedom in the work I do. Because of how quickly the industry changes and develops, there is always something new to learn.

“I have created and published lots of different work that I am proud of. I have designed and built websites, planned and designed from scratch a full branding package which would include a website, logo, business card, letterhead, social media platform and strategy, outdoor signage and t-shirts.

“We may need to advertise the business through different marketing channels too, including Google Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing.

“It’s not just a desk job. Throughout the week we might meet our clients, attend different meetings to discuss the progress of an on-going job. Visit seminars or networking events. We even plan and attend photography shoots for our clients.

“We are normally based in the office, but I have travelled back and forth from all major cities from different events, including visiting the ITV studios to collect different camera equipment and attending a meeting with the Google Digital Garage team.

“I have enjoyed everything about my apprenticeship. It has been a very fast-paced year, starting a new job, attending the training at Estio’s Leeds Training Centre and different courses, meeting new people, and just enjoying going to work.

“I have acquired lots of new technical skills from Estio and my place of work. I’ve learnt how to code and implement HTML and CSS, have an understanding of PHP and SQL and how to maintain servers. In addition, I am able to use Adobe software and camera equipment.

“The module I enjoyed the most was the introduction to HTML and CSS taught by Kevin Taylor. I had no previous knowledge or understanding of any computer language, so I found it really interesting. I’ve learnt how to build a website from complete scratch, and researched the history of the internet and learnt how it has evolved.

“It’s the most fascinating and frustrating thing I have learnt but once you understand, it will change the way you look at technology. I have been well supported by everyone at Estio, they are happy to help with any issue big or small. I would 100% recommend my apprenticeship.

“In the future I see myself owning my own business, this may be in digital marketing or anything related to technology. It’s a fascinating industry with huge career opportunities. I would like to combine my experience in travelling and teaching with my new experience in digital marketing.”

Paul Gill, Arlo the office dog and Matt Hobbs at Gill Graphics office in Halifax

Paul Gill, Arlo the office dog and Matt Hobbs at the Gill Graphics offices in Halifax

Paul Gill, Founder of and Director at Gill Graphics, told us that Matt was the first apprentice the business has hired. “We were looking into hiring an apprentice for a while but never found the right company to help with the process. After a quick chat with Estio they managed to quickly find us a number of candidates all with the skillset we were after, but after a few interviews lead to us hiring Matt – all within just a few weeks of our first contact with Estio.

“Taking on an apprentice gives an opportunity for growth within a company plus allows you to train a member to fit in with your fellow team and work practices from the very beginning. Taking on Matt helped free up our work load, allowing us to spend more time introducing new services and meeting new clients which in result has helped us grow our business by 20% in the last 12 months.

“Matt has gained a lot of design and technical skills since starting with us over a year ago but we find the Estio training weeks enhance this even further. These weeks with Estio allow him to focus on specific skills and tasks which he can then put into practice for our clients when he returns.

“We would highly recommend Estio, they have helped with the growth of our company this year plus have provided Matt with a strong push forward into the design & marketing industry.”

We are so thrilled to hear about the positive impact that Matt’s apprenticeship has had on his career, but also the positive contribution that he has brought to the Gill Graphics team.

If you would like to nominate a learner for Learner of the Month, please contact marketing@estio.co.uk with the following details:
Learner’s name:
Apprenticeship:
Business:
Reason for nomination: