Zine managing director Alan Bradley on the benefits of having apprentices on the books

Bradley, who runs one of the UK's fastest growing digital media agencies, discusses his firm's approach to skills training

WITH VIDEO........Journal Durham and Wearside Business Awards 2014 at Ramside Hall Durham......Internet & ICT award winner Alan Bradley of Zine.

One of the UK’s fastest growing digital media agencies has given its support to the Journal’s Proud to Back Apprenticeships campaign.

Zine, which employs around 30 people at its headquarters in Barnard Castle, has established a network of 52 franchisees during only six years in business and has doubled turnover year-on-year.

As it for aims for revenues of £1m by 2015, promoting the digital skills agenda is becoming a major focus for the firm.

With five apprentices currently on its books, Zine has committed to spreading the word on all things IT, its skills development campaign, Digital Futures, being directed towards everyone from job seekers to employers.

“I can say without hesitation that apprenticeships are quite simply a fantastic opportunity for businesses to harness fresh new talent,” said managing director Alan Bradley.

“Here at Zine, we work on the front line of the digital sector, keeping tabs on the latest developments so our clients don’t have to.

“We provide very best products and services to help businesses make the most of their online opportunities.

“We’re proud to say we do this with five apprentices on our team.”

Zine apprentices, from left, Nick Tuck, Aaron Roberts and Connor Dodds
Zine apprentices, from left, Nick Tuck, Aaron Roberts and Connor Dodds

Zine UK, which won the Durham & Wearside Internet and ICT award at the North East Business Awards 2014, specialises in brand development, web design, social media and corporate marketing.

The firm creates fully responsive websites and social media pages that work on all types of devices, its in-house team of designers, programmers, bloggers, copywriters and search engine optimisers driving customers to its clients’ businesses.

The company not only builds and populates resources for its clients, but trains them on how to keep them up-to-date, giving businesses full control and helping them to save money.

Founded in 2008, Zine has grown rapidly and now works with all kinds of companies, from small local businesses to multi-national corporations, including Cisco and British Gas, as well as the UK Government.

All centralised design and development is delivered from the its County Durham headquarters to a 52-strong national network of Zine Agencies, operating under a mix of self-owned, franchised and white label licence arrangements.

The apprenticeship roles at the company are divided across project management, business administration, marketing, sales and web development.

Bradley cautioned that the route was not necessarily an easy one, requiring time and commitment from both organisation and apprentice.

“But that’s what we deliver here at Zine,” he added.

“It’s consistent and high calibre support and training system that ensures our apprentices receive training and experience on the shop floor, helping them develop faster and become more aware of the reality of business.”

The Digital Futures campaign aims to help local people develop the digital skills needed for future high value job creation.

Further opportunities are set to become available at the firm in everything from web design to account management.

Bradley added: “As we continue to expand our operations and brand, we aim to keep the head office of our now-international business firmly based in Teesdale.

“We also have offices in Sunderland Software City and at Google Campus in London.

“Now is the time to jump on this digital wave and join us – the future is digital and that future is now.”

To register interest in Digital Futures, visit www.zineuk.co.uk


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