GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, is partnering with EdTech start-up Multiverse, to recruit over 90 apprentices for its first Digital Academy programme allowing participants to specialise in Search, Social, Programmatic and e-Commerce digital marketing.

Applications are now open for roles in Manchester and London, with assessment days to take place mid-July. All the roles are open to people without university qualifications.

The Digital Academy launched by GroupM delivers best-in-class training, with specialist classes and one-to-one coaching. Over the 15-month programme, apprentices will master topics ranging from digital marketing principles to the basics of coding. Specifically, their first six weeks will be focused entirely on training; getting them up to speed in how digital works, their specialist areas and hands-on in specific platforms, including Google and Facebook.

With three of the top five global media agencies and $63 billion in annual media spend, GroupM’s apprentices will have the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading brands at the heart of the media and advertising industry.

The GroupM Digital Academy will also enable GroupM to continue to deliver crucial skills to clients. Digital is a key area for the company, last month it produced its forecast for digital advertising and predicted growth of 33% in 2021.

Training will be delivered by a combination of GroupM specialists, Multiverse and some of the key Digital Marketing platforms.

The move shows a commitment from GroupM, the largest media advertising group in the UK, towards on-the-job training and skills development for its staff. The company will create over 100 apprenticeship opportunities for diverse, entry-level employees over the next 12 months.

It also shows the company’s commitment to diversity. The recruitment process will target non-graduates across Manchester and London, and Multiverse has a track record of placing candidates from various backgrounds into the top roles.

Paul Cooper, COO at GroupM agency Mediacom North, said: “Digital marketing as a specialism is seeing huge growth, especially over the last 16 months creating a massive demand for people with these specialist skillsets. However, people with these skillsets are in short supply, at GroupM we want to train the next generation to help us continue to grow. We are passionate about recruiting non-graduates and giving people real apprenticeships in an industry that will dominate the next 20 years in terms of media consumption. We want young, diverse talent from any and all backgrounds that reflect the society we market our clients products to. We have a people first philosophy which runs through everything we do and believe. We are looking for applicants for both our Manchester and London centres of excellence to help us build our business and your career whilst having fun as we do it. You don’t have to have a degree to succeed in our business, most of our senior people have come through the business learning by doing on the job training, the industry is that fast paced it’s the best way to learn.”

Multiverse matches talented individuals with careers and delivers world-class training in a wide range of qualifications in leadership, digital and technology. Apprentices benefit from one-to-one coaching with an industry expert and are supported by a thriving community with events, socials, mentoring and leadership programmes designed to exceed the best of the university experience.

Multiverse founder and CEO, Euan Blair, said: "Recruiting talented digital marketers is essential to media and advertising agencies around the world, and apprenticeships are becoming the best way to find and develop that talent. The expansion of GroupM's apprenticeship programme will create career defining opportunities for talented people from a diverse range of backgrounds.

"Professional apprenticeships offer a unique and exciting way for great companies to invest in their workforces and develop leaders of the future. Apprenticeship skills are taught, tested and learnt through immediate application in the workplace - that makes them a highly effective way to equip people with the skills they need to be successful."

GroupM’s investment in their new Digital Marketing academy comes via the Apprenticeship Levy.