Scott is here to head up our development team. Starting as an apprentice, he has been working on websites for 3 years. He has been working on a range of projects from developing for sophisticated e-learning applications at City & Guilds to small client websites. He has an intuitive grasp of how websites and apps should work and is set to take Beyond Local to a whole new level.
Daryl is our first apprentice. He has been working with us for nearly a year and is close to completing an Advanced Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media. Daryl learnt by doing real commercial work for real clients. He has worked on many websites and has built this one. He and Scott are our Dream Team and we are hope to be working with Daryl for many years to come!
Nina is a Graphic Designer. She has been making things look good for as long as anyone can remember. Nina’s work spans both print and digital media and she has worked on projects that required delivery across web, mobile platforms and print. Nina’s final role prior to starting Beyond Local was working as the senior graphic designer at City & Guilds dealing with both client and internal requirements.
Mark is an online application developer. He has been working on websites for nearly 15 years. He specialises in online, data driven applications. He has had a wealth of experience at Red Balloon Days, Learning Assistant and City & Guilds in building highly economical web applications that scale to support heavy usage without sacrificing the user experience.
Fancy being the 5th?
we are always looking for the right person to join us. We would love to meet a young, enthusiastic developer or graphic designer who would like to undertake an apprenticeship with us. We believe that the Digital Industry is the best industry to work in. We think we can help you achieve your goals, have fun and that you can help us produce great work. Why not send us your details and we'll get in touch.
websites If you want a website, we’d love to build it for you. From simple brochure sites to complex online applications, we have a wealth of experience that we will put at your disposal. We believe that this commercial experience allied with the apprentices freshness of approach, mean that the websites we build really connect with your audience.
branding Our resident Designer, Nina is passionate about making sure that the graphics she produces are 100% right for your business. From simple logos and magazine advertisements to complete brand guidelines, we produce visuals that will really enhance your brand and make you stand out from the crowd.
anything else digital... We can create promotional or training videos that can enhance your existing website; we can design and manage compelling email marketing campaigns; we will perform an analysis of your websites Search Engine rankings and implement an on-going strategy to make sure that your website is easily found; we love social media and can set up, manage and report on your social media campaigns.
start-ups We know what it is like just starting out. We are doing it ourselves. We are able to provide help and advice about what you can achieve online for just about any budget. We believe in building partnerships and providing on-going support, not just building a website!
small businesses We want to help you take control of your online presence.
It can be hard to know how best to invest your time and money when the internet and how people use it is constantly evolving. We will help you make sense of the online world using language you understand. This will allow you to make the decisions that really benefit your business.
We believe we provide a service that offers unbeatable value for money. Contact us to find out how we work and why we are so confident that we can help just about any business.
As a digital apprentice you will be working to real commercial briefs to create top quality software applications.
Your apprenticeship will last for one year.
You will work in a supportive and collaborative team environment.
You will be working towards an Advanced Apprenticeship in Creative & Digital Media, this is awarded by Edexcel and is equivalent to 2 good A levels.
In addition, you will be encouraged to participate in some of the best online courses in creative thinking and technical skills provided by institutions such as FutureLearn, MIT and Udacity.
You will have the chance to earn badges and rewards as you progress through your apprenticeship. See 2815909093 for more information about the open badge program.
Loads of Enthusiasm, especially for the internet.
The ability to work alone, as well as collaboratively.
You need to be motivated.
Have an honest and hard-working character.
Have a sense of fun and be prepared for some serious challenges.
You need digital smarts!
We would also be very interested if you have some demonstrable experience in tinkering around building websites or mobile phone apps.
If you have any questions, please give us a call on 01959 569 523. No agencies please.
For more information or to apply for a position as an apprentice fill in our contact form.
Rt Hon Michael Fallon, MP for Sevenoaks and Defence Secretary, today (20th March) visited Westerham-based web agency Beyond Local in praise of the work it is doing to develop young digital talent and support small local businesses at the same time.
Founded in 2014 by business partners Nina Cooper and Mark Duerden, Beyond Local was established to address the chronic shortage of qualified web developers in the UK providing apprenticeships to equip young people with digital skills for the workplace. Starting small, the founders are confident that their model of training young people and in turn providing affordable web development and design to small and medium-sized local businesses can be replicated across Kent and the UK.
Mr Fallon said: 'Young people are digital natives, having grown up with the internet they are far more proficient at navigating the web than the generation before them. Digital apprentices, like those at Beyond Local, are ideally suited to help get the message across to other young people that you don't necessarily need to go to university, and be in debt, to start a rewarding career.
Beyond Local's approach means they can offer a great local service to small businesses helping them to gain valuable insight into their customers, via the power of the web. Understanding how the internet can allow them to compete with the bigger players is the way forward for small businesses.'
One local firm to benefit from Beyond Local's expertise is Manuka Shoes, a specialist boutique shoe shop on the high street in Westerham. Owner Karen Metcalfe said: 'Understanding how I can harness the web to grow my business has been revolutionary, enabling me to compete with the larger out-of-town shopping centres and other online retailers.'
Mark Duerden, co-founder at Beyond Local, said: 'We have big ambitions to change the world, one digital apprentice at a time. As advocates of apprenticeships, we can see on a daily basis the positive impact they have on young trainees, the businesses they work for and the wider economy. We are confident that given the right on-the-job training and support apprentices can help shape our future growth.'
Beyond Local has recently been invited to join the Apprenticeship Ambassadors Network (AAN), sitting alongside a group of senior business leaders from national heavyweights such as Tesco, British Gas and BAE Systems.
You can see more photos on our facebook page.
Back in September Beyond Local were invited to speak at The Westerham Business Breakfast Club. We knew almost immediately that we would use this opportunity to share our thoughts around what it is that makes a website 'user friendly' on a mobile device.
Running a business is time consuming enough without having to worry about whether your website is mobile friendly but it's no longer something that can be ignored. Our aim with this talk was to point out the things that a business needs to look out for when they find the time to reflect on the mobile experience of their site and to hopefully remove some of the concerns around the potential cost and maintenance of these things.
We were given such a warm reception and thoroughtly enjoyed the whole morning including the delicious breakfast served up by the kind staff at Chartwell. We were lucky enough to have Sam Burgess from Snow Fox Films with us who filmed the presentation...which if you're interested can be seen here!!
On Tuesday 19th August, Nina and I travelled down to the Romney Marshes to appear on the Business Bunker Show with Paul Andrews and Jules Serkin. It was a great experience and one that we would love to repeat one day. The focus of our chat with the Paul and Jules was our advocacy of Digital Apprentices and the benefits they can bring to a business.
We have the show here so that you can listen again to our bit, or you can go to /www.kentbusinessradio.co.uk/show-187 and download the podcast in all it’s glory and you’ll find out where you can get the best quiches in Kent!
Nina, Daryl and I were delighted to get the opportunity to get to introduce ourselves to members of Sevenoaks Chamber of Commerce by giving a presentation at their monthly First Wednesday Meeting on July 4th. Giving the talk was a bit nerve-racking, but we all had the chance to speak and we all found it very enjoyable. If you get the opportunity to present your business like this, we recommend making the most of it. We also recommend joining your local Chamber of Commerce, it has been great for us.
Our presentation was on the vital importance of small local businesses having a digital strategy that takes into account the changing way people are using the internet and how much searching for local goods and services are done on online using mobile devices. We hoped to give an indication of how possible it is for small businesses to compete with the bigger online brands by doing a few simple things well. We also spoke about the benefits of apprenticeships, particularly as 16-24 year olds intuitively understand the digital world in a way that us old guys don’t!
You can see more photos on our facebook page.
I have been at Beyond Local for about 9 months now and haven’t looked back. Despite being an apprentice here I have been made to feel like I am a big part of the company, a real team member working on real projects for real people. Although this is something I have wanted to do for a long time, I was quite scared to begin with. Starting out with very little knowledge of web development, in the past 9 months I have gone from creating something from a very basic template to putting together a whole website with various data integration techniques.
So what is it like being an apprentice?
In short, it’s great! It’s nothing like being in a classroom constantly, you actually get to put to use what you are learning in the world of work. I’m the sort of person that learns by doing, so an apprenticeship is an ideal way for me to get the skills I need rather than being told how to do it in a classroom. Not only do you get to put to use what you’ve learnt, you gain that all important experience which most employers look for when advertising a job; thus making you more employable in future. And another bonus, you earn while you learn...
What am I doing?
The best bits for me
Well where do I start? It’s pretty awesome! I love what I do. Getting to work on real projects is great. It is not like building something for yourself where you don’t have a specification to fulfill, so being able to go from the brief and a design provided by Nina, through the development stages and to the project being deployed gives me immense satisfaction and a sense of achievement. I have a great team around me that always make it a fun place to work. They provide a great deal of support guidance pushing me to be the best I can be.
What does the future hold?
The courses I have completed so far have greatly opened my mind to different ways of working and I can not wait to experience more!
If you want to be the next Daryl, please get in touch!