Raising the roof on trades careers for Checkatrade

Checkatrade wanted to be the go-to name in the trades and construction sector for apprenticeships. Our strategy paved the way for the launch of three key programmes that aim to engage schools, employers and young people in the possibility of trades careers.

Jump to:


PR coverage
traffic referring keywords on page 1
podcast downloads
increase in programme awareness

The brief

Checkatrade wanted to ‘own the narrative’ on the trades apprenticeships space, so they needed a campaign that was going to position them as the go-to authority on skills and careers in the sector.

Our marketing efforts needed to speak to a diverse audience; from Yr 10 and Y11 students through the Try a Trade programme, to school leavers aged 16-25 through the Get In programme, as well as school career advisors, business owners and even members of the government. We needed to engage them all in the endless opportunities presented by the UK construction and trades industry.

The campaign needed to create content that could be executed across multiple channels, from launching a brand new apprenticeships-focused website and social channels to generating PR stories, all whilst leveraging the Checkatrade memberships, connections and communities to champion trade skills in the UK.

What we did

Data-led insights:

  • To raise Checkatrade’s profile with apprenticeships in the UK, we first needed to understand the demand for skills. ​So, we worked with Capital Economics to create the ‘UK Trade Skills Index’, an in-depth study and barometer of the trends, challenges and threats to the trade sector. 
  • Our data highlighted the need for trade apprenticeships in the UK, and our campaign activation ensured Checkatrade was at the front of the conversation.

Media relations:

  • We leveraged spokespeople to secure prime-time TV interviews, opinion pieces and thought leadership content to ensure Checkatrade is front of mind with business leaders. We also worked closely with influencers and external construction opinion leaders, so that we could position our narrative in an attractive way to consumer press.

Research and insights:

  • We knew we needed to engage multiple audiences in the possibilities available through trade careers, so we created content strategies aligned to different audiences across social, video and written content. We defined the narrative for each audience, from young people aged 14-25 to business owners and even government members – our multi-channel comms strategy excited and engaged prospects in the opportunity provided by offering, applying or funding trades apprenticeships.

The results

  • 200+ pieces of PR coverage including Sky News, Talk TV, The Financial Times and Fix Radio
  • 476 traffic referring keywords on page 1
  • 4.5k podcast downloads of the All About Apprenticeships podcast which is ranked as the #1 apprenticeship podcast globally
  • +2000% increase in programme awareness for Get In and Try A Trade
  • 285+ requests for access to The Trade Skills Index full report from companies and educational establishments to industry leaders and politicians
  • 7,500 views and 5,500 users engaging with the ‘Get In’ programme pages and 9,000+ users engaging with the digital programme content
  • 600+ schools registered for the platform to date (as of October 2023)
“No Brainer are an impressive agency. In trying to appeal to a younger generation and to help solve the skills gap in trades and construction, they produced exciting ways of encouraging brave conversations, enabling us to inspire the next generation into an industry in much need of new skills. They have been a pleasure to work with, an extension of the team and with an energetic and innovative approach to match.” – Melanie Waters, Checkatrade Foundation Managing Director

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