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Degree apprentice Luke Pollard helps put Burnley back on the map

Burnley Place Brand Manager Rachel Bayley believes Degree Apprenticeships are making a real difference, especially in the case of upskilling and helping to raise ambitions of young people and residents of Burnley Borough.

Rachel and the Burnley Brand team are responsible for promoting the borough of Burnley through the brands Burnley.co.uk and burnley.social. Both brands help to raise aspirations among residents and students in Burnley and encourage investment and businesses into the borough. Part of this work is via the Burnley Bondholder network, a public-private initiative of over 200 businesses, which has been running for over 12 years and was the first of its kind in the UK.

Rachel is passionate about young people and has seen the value of Degree Apprenticeships first-hand. Rachel said: “Having a degree apprentice like Luke has proven invaluable, mentoring a young person to support the team, but also coaching and training so they can now set strategy by themselves. With studying for his degree at the same time, Luke has brought fresh ideas to the table which have been implemented for Burnley Brand to great success.”

Luke Pollard, an apprentice working with Rachel, enjoyed his experience studying at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) although he found studying rewarding yet challenging at times. Luke said: “The most challenging part was trying to have enough time to study and complete assignments whilst also working full-time. The experience was very difficult as it took a lot of discipline to balance studying and working full-time. However, the difficulty meant that graduating with my degree was even more of an achievement.”

Luke has now completed his Degree Apprenticeship and looks forward to advancing in his new role as Digital Marketing Co-ordinator, adding: “My experience as Digital Marketing Trainee coupled with my degree qualification means that I am now a step ahead of most people my age.”

"My experience as Digital Marketing Trainee, coupled with my degree qualification, means that I am now a step ahead of most people my age."

Luke Pollard, Digital Marketing Co-ordinator at Burnley Borough Council

Luke’s advice for anyone considering a Degree Apprenticeship: “Find an employer that you’ll genuinely enjoy working for and that cares about your development. If you’re not engaged with the role then the apprenticeship won’t be of value but if you find that ideal employer – like I did – it will set you up nicely for the next three or four years of your apprenticeship.”

As part of his role, Luke now works closely with companies across Burnley, including UCLan, recently organising a student event in September 2021 to welcome students to Burnley. UCLan Burnley Marketing Manager, Michael Bowerman, commented: “It has been a pleasure working with Luke as our roles have similar objectives in marketing Burnley as a lively, student town. As a recent student, it has been useful to get his ideas and enthusiasm, especially during Welcome Week where he organised an event for students that are new to the town that was really well received.”

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