Campaign to encourage back-to-work courses earns place in national marketing awards final

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By YouPR | Wednesday, November 27, 2013, 16:12

A highly successful campaign to encourage long-term unemployed people to attend courses at Weston College has earned the College's marketing team a place in the final of a prestigious national competition.

In response to the Government's 'Get Britain Working' agenda, Weston College launched a suite of pre-employment training programmes, developed in partnership with the Department of Work and Pensions, and Jobcentre Plus.

The ASPIRE and Ngage programmes aim to boost learners' confidence, motivation and job-seeking skills.

The key objective was to develop a range of courses, linked to the local job market, which were flexible and accessible for young adults (19-24-year-olds) not in employment or training and adults aged over 25 and claiming benefits.

A comprehensive, multi-media, marketing strategy was devised and implemented in order to raise awareness of the courses and encourage enrolment.

Almost immediately the courses were over-subscribed, with those attending describing them as 'life-changing'. Feedback indicates that 100% of ASPIRE learners would recommend the course and as a result, Weston College has had visits from several other colleges to see how it is addressing the unemployed agenda.

The successful campaign has now seen the College's Marketing team shortlisted in the national final of the prestigious 'Marketing Excellence Awards', hosted by the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

The Marketing Excellence Awards recognise and reward outstanding marketing by organisations, individuals and teams.

As well as using eye-catching branding, press releases and case studies, the Weston College team employed more unusual tactics to capture attention. These included a petrol-cap advertising campaign at six garages around Weston-super-Mare, which saw 180 nozzles branded with ASPIRE and Ngage messages, and a pop-up shop in the town's Sovereign shopping centre.

Weston is the only FE college to be shortlisted in the 'Education' category, which includes agencies and universities among the finalists. The final will be held in London next February.

Gill Fowkes, Weston College's Head of Marketing, said: "We are delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist for this prestigious national award.

"The ASPIRE and Ngage programmes are proving very successful, and the College is justifiably proud of what they are achieving.

"I am proud to say this success is undoubtedly due, in part, to the creative efforts of the Marketing and Communications team, which used a wide variety of methods to generate awareness of the programmes, through the promotion of the distinctive, eye-catching, brand identity which was used across a range of marketing platforms.

"We are always looking at innovative and creative ways to reach our target audiences, and I feel that we have certainly achieved that with this campaign. It's extremely satisfying to see that the courses have been over-subscribed."

Picture shows Weston College Marketing Team (L-R) Jonathan Pritchard, Melissa Shand, Greg Jackson, Gill Fowkes, Jeremy Plumley, Megan Champion, Darren Bane.

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