How to market apprenticeships: all you need to know

Ben Leeves By Ben Leeves

If you work in education marketing, you’ll be all too familiar with the challenges of targeting 14-18 year olds.

It was no different for BPP,  who provide quality training to Professional Apprentices in law, business, accountancy and finance. With the growing demand for apprenticeships, they needed to promote themselves in schools but were uncertain about how to speak to 14-18 year olds persuasively.

That’s where we came in. By harnessing insights from behavioural science – the psychology of decision-making – we built BPP messaging tailored to their young audience’s specific motivations.

So how did we persuade 14-18 year olds to choose an apprenticeship? It’s simple. We created a compelling presentation using behavioural science insights, such as:

Social Proof

We’re social creatures – and our decisions are legitimised by what our peers are doing. This influence, called ‘social proof’, is especially potent for young adults.

That’s why we put apprentices themselves at the heart of the presentation. 20-year-old Ryan and 19-year-old Abby featured throughout the creative, and their powerful testimonials allowed the audience to learn the benefits of apprenticeships from an authority they trusted.

Our presentation nudged 14-18 year olds to emulate their peers.


We might think we’re rational beings, but we all make decisions based on the most recent bit of information we receive. This principle, called ‘salience’, was critical in our messaging.

Our design emphasised information which satisfied the motivations of this driven, ambitious target audience: money and career success.

To do this, we drew attention to earning potential by repeating large figures. We emphasised employer logos, leveraging off prestigious brands. Finally, our presentation ended with ‘Get experience. Get paid.’, cementing the most compelling reason for doing an apprenticeship in our audience’s minds.

Cognitive Ease

Simplicity is key. The more mental effort your audience has to expend understanding your message, the more likely they are to switch off. So we designed with cognitive ease in mind.

We distilled the complexity of apprenticeship options into three levels and presented persuasive evidence in simple steps: ‘Four reasons why apprenticeships are the new uni’. Written in conversational, authentic copy, we made it as easy as possible for our audience to perceive the benefits of apprenticeships.

Cognitive overload – too much or too complex information – makes people switch off. That’s why we simplified BPP’s message.

Want to know more?

Discover how we made sure teachers across the UK were able to deliver BPP’s presentation and click here

Are you ready to harness behavioural science to speak persuasively to young audiences? Let’s explore what we can do for you – get in touch today.

Ben Leeves

Ben Leeves

Co-founder & Senior Partner

One of the co-founders of Consider, Ben is our digital media adventurer. He's always on top of the latest digital advancements in creative and has been behind a fair few of them himself. He’s been one step ahead for the last 20 years. The latest digital insights from Ben are on our blog.