Thales wanted to broaden its apprentice appeal to encourage more female applications and inspire those who may not have been considering an apprenticeship in this area. The campaign was designed to raise awareness of the opportunities a STEM career could provide (and the skills required), all while broadcasting the Thales culture.
The campaign provided a consistent journey, from awareness to offer acceptance and beyond. The idea was to help students self-select while providing a positive, authentic brand experience.
In our research 80% of students said they had a career in mind by the time they were 15. Unfortunately, only 11% were considering IT, and only 12% were looking at engineering.
We needed to enlighten current 15-16 year olds, while engaging in efforts to guide younger students to consider STEM as a viable option.
We attended regional events like The Big Bang Fair plus smaller schools events with an added human touch of a WhatsApp number for students to ask follow up questions.
Students who saw our ads were met with a consultative message – ask us a question on WhatsApp, see what apprentices do at Thales on Snapchat or see if you have transferrable skills for engineering in our video game. Using platforms like The Student Room meant we could have conversations rather than one way sales pitches.
Research proved our target group loved Snapchat. Channel promotion was purposefully skewed towards females. Trained Thales apprentices ran the channel, sharing authentic day-in-the-life content. We also set branded engineering puzzles that our audience tackled using the draw functionality and promoted topical video competitions.
We also added that human touch with a WhatsApp number where students could contact a friendly Thales employee to help with any queries.
Designed for the engineers of tomorrow, we packed the site with interactive features.
A short CGI film explained what Thales did.
An innovative game showed them how everyday skills like communication and problem-solving were highly prized by engineering firms (and also allowed them to self-select).
For those embarking on exams, we provided a ‘Study Buddy’ online revision and wellbeing resource.
For those who accepted an offer, we delivered a ‘keep warm’ pack that, through a selection of giveaways, challenging competition and supporting material, welcomed our apprentices into a branded, select cohort – Generation T.
Long term planning and education
We developed a STEM outreach pack, consisting of presentations and exercise booklets, to be used by schools to inspire and educate students from the age of 8 upwards on the paths studying STEM can lead to. We also created a ‘Brain Ticklers’ game for parents and teachers to play with kids that encouraged conversation about STEM questions such as ‘Why do the stars twinkle?’ and ‘How do owls see?’.
Using a friendly, less corporate look and feel, this was miles away from a recruitment tool – focusing instead on being a useful curriculum support.