Soft Surfaces

Established in 1997, Soft Surfaces is the UK’s leading installer of innovative safety surfaces for children’s playgrounds. Through its designated sports division, the company also installs a wide range of surfaces for many different sports including grass pitches, tennis courts and artificial all-weather tracks and pitches.

Since November 2013, Soft Surfaces have recruited four social media and digital apprentices from The Apprentice Academy – Dave Wright, Becca Honeybill, Dan Grant and Amelia German – who currently form the core of Soft Surfaces’ highly creative and increasingly successful digital marketing team.

What have been the major benefits of employing apprentices?

Employer: James Dooley 
The major benefits of employing apprentices are the real hunger and desire the young generation have to learn and try to progress their career. Previously we have hired many staff above the age of 40 and it is very true when they say it is difficult to train an old dog new tricks but as the times change with technology, google algorithms and techniques to stand out from the crowd having young enthusiastic team members make your approach both enjoyable and also amazing for the company.

What have you worked on for the company that people wouldn’t believe apprentices do?

Apprentice: David Wright
I have learnt so much and had many opportunities to show my ability in social media from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, google plus to video creation on YouTube. The diversity in digital marketing allows you to tailor design your approach for the customers and working in a professional company at soft surfaces limited I cannot believe I get the chances to put these practices into real life situations and help grow a company first hand with my ideas, input and thoughts.

I’m not 100% sure if every company is as diverse and understanding as Soft Surfaces Ltd but they treat myself as a team member and I am not just a staff employee that is told to do this and to do that but can first hand have discussions to generate new designs, new techniques and love the team spirit vibe we have to be successful.

Through their efforts, the business has experienced rapid growth including:
· Company turnover doubled in 2014.
· Increase in web leads each day from 10 to 90.
· Dominating the entire first three pages of google for all industry key phrases/words.

Two of the original apprentices, Dave Wright and Becca Honeybill, who were recruited in 2013, have now secured permanent jobs after successfully completing their apprenticeship

The experience of creating a successful team in less than two years has convinced Dooley that employing apprentices is the most productive route to building in-house digital marketing expertise that operates as a full-integrated unit with the company’s sales team.