We are thrilled to announce the most recent addition to the WhiteHat team. Jamilah Simpson, formerly Digital Marketing apprentice at Google, will be joining the Community team as the brand new Community President for our Career Starters, who are typically in their first or second job.

In 2019, we had two fantastic apprentices, Joe Dale and Zaynah Din, who were our President and Vice President of the Community. They worked incredibly hard to manage the community whilst completing digital marketing apprenticeships at Google and Facebook respectively, but it was a challenge at times for them to balance all their competing priorities. Given it was such an integral role to the smooth running and growth of the Community we wanted to invest in it fully, so late last year we decided to make it a full time role within the Community team for twelve months, similar to a university society president.

So, back in November we reached out to all our alumni and people who were about to finish their apprenticeships  to let them know of this exciting opportunity. We were overwhelmed with the response and as a result we had to make some very hard choices. But in the end we had to choose one successful candidate. Introducing Jamilah Simspon who will be starting with us at the beginning of February, just in time for the start of National Apprenticeship Week.

At WhiteHat we are on a mission to create an outstanding alternative to university. One way we already do this is by offering a thriving community experience for apprentices. There is a rich programme of events, both personal and professional development training as well as purely social activities. Some of this is led by WhiteHat but the vast majority is led by our network of apprentice leaders. A big reason for Jamilah joining is to give us the capacity to continue the growth of apprentice-led activity so that our offer and the experience apprentices currently have can scale with the rapid growth of the Community. It also ensures that the engagement is high quality and authentic - created by the audience themselves.

We recognise that having someone who has been through the WhiteHat apprentice experience means they are uniquely placed to listen to community members and feed this back into how we support apprentices on programme. So Jamilah will be contactable via our new Community Hub (a closed online community for WhiteHat apprentices and alumni) and will be holding monthly social events so that she will be able to listen and act on the needs of the apprentice community promptly.

We already have thriving networks for BAME, LGBTQ+, tech apprentices and allies. With Jamilah joining, we expect the number and reach of these networks to grow exponentially. This will help us continue to support the needs of our diverse community.

Our apprentices are at the heart of what we do. Listening to them is really important. With Jamilah joining we hope her authentic experience will create safe spaces for apprentices to share their thoughts and ideas, so that we can continue to build outstanding experiences for everyone.

We have built great relationships with other apprentice organisations such as IFATE and NSoA, as well as other apprentice leadership organisations. Jamilah will represent WhiteHat at organisations like this ensuring that our apprentices’ voices and concerns are heard on a national scale.

Watch this space for Jamilah’s manifesto, which will overview her plans for the next year in the role.

Any questions, thoughts, ideas and feedback for the Community team or Jamilah, please contact us via community@whitehat.org.uk.