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Mabo continue to invest in apprentices 9 years after opening

15 Aug 2022
Mabo apprentices in office

Working with apprenticeship and training provider, Northern Skills, Mabo have welcomed 18 apprentices through their doors over the last 9 years.

We spoke to Stephen Cumberworth, head of pay-per-click at Mabo, Sam Hood, Training and Development manager at Mabo, Sam Fickling, Digital Marketing apprentice at Mabo, and Kelly Winspear, Skills Development Manager at Northern Skills about the growth of apprentices at Mabo, and how they continue to aid the business.

Stephen Cumberworth started by saying: “We are working with Northern Skills to break the mould of career progression and the stigma created around apprenticeships. It is often thought that apprentices do odd jobs and make the tea, however that is not the case here at Mabo.

“We treat our apprentices like permanent employees, they are involved in the same meetings, are given a voice to speak up and are a true part of the team. We see our apprentices as our future leaders, as many of our senior team started off as apprentices, we know they are worth investing in.

“As our apprentices are mostly young adults, we find they understand a lot of the latest cultural trends, which not only creates a great working atmosphere, but also contributes to our overall understanding of the market.”

Mabo ensure their apprentices receive all the relevant training to prepare them to take on a full-time position once their qualifications are complete. To do this, Sam Hood completes weekly in-house training with the apprentices on programme.

Sam Hood explains: “We place a lot of emphasis on in-house training at Mabo, plus the additional study and rounded apprenticeship teaching programmes our apprentices get access to let them gain a fantastic depth of relevant industry knowledge and prepares them for future roles within the company.

“We take learning slowly, to allow the apprentices to build up their knowledge and put what they have learnt into practise alongside their daily role.”

Sam Fickling tells us about his apprenticeship experience so far: “The skills I have learnt during my apprenticeship have been irreplaceable, so much so that I have been able to gain a full-time position after a year of working at Mabo.

“I had expected the work assigned to me to be more “Busy Work” that other people couldn’t be bothered to do, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. I have always been treated like an actual full-time employee and taught the Mabo way of doing things.”

The digital marketing agency are not restrictive in the path their apprentices take and are happy to aid growth in specific areas if that is where they see that apprentice progressing. This not only helps the apprentice enjoy their work, but it also helps Mabo create well rounded digital marketers who are excellent at what they specialise in – it is a win win for all parties involved.

Stephen continued to say: “We like to say our apprentices are not on a linear path, if they excel in a specific area, we are more than happy to help them progress into a role in that area. One of my favourite parts of my role here at Mabo is to interview and take on apprentices, it feels great to give them an opportunity in something we know they are passionate about.

“We absolutely would recommend taking on apprentices to other businesses. Especially in the digital sector, it is great to gain new employees who are a clean slate and are ready to learn.

“The digital industry is changing every day, so to have a fresh perspective is incredibly important to us. Every apprentice we have taken on has been enthusiastic and eager evolve with our company, I think the fact we have kept on 15 apprentices as full-time employees is a true testament to the programme.

“Working with Middlesbrough College Group has been fantastic, Kelly Winspear has placed 90% of our apprentices here in Middlesbrough and the overall process could not have been better. The team are easy to work with and support us every step of the way!”

Kelly Winspear, Skills Development Manager at Northern Skills said: “The apprentices we place at Mabo always thrive in their positions, the experience they gain is just incredible. It is always a pleasure to work with the team, we even have learners coming to us and asking when new apprenticeship vacancies will be coming available at Mabo, that speaks for itself!”

To find out more about the process of hiring an apprentice and developing your business in new innovative ways as Mabo have done, please contact a member of our Business Development team on 07795 541818 or email

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