Current and former apprentices from the award-winning social media apprenticeship programme, The Juice Academy, will take to the main stage at the International Festival of Business 2016 (IFB2016) later this month to take part in what promises to be a lively ‘Discuss’ debate about social media. 

The Discuss debates started in Manchester three years ago and take their inspiration from Manchester’s celebrated history in progressive thinking, invention and the free trade of ideas. The debates are always challenging and provocative, with two high profile speakers for the motion and two against, then an audience debate, followed by a vote.

Chaired by Michael Taylor, the debate at IFB2016 at 10am on 20th June will see four current or former apprentices take the place of the usual high profile business, media or community professionals to debate: ‘Social media is out of control. Discuss.’

As well as one of the founders of Discuss, Michael is an author, events host and award-winning business journalist. Michael is also External Affairs Advisor at Manchester Metropolitan University. He said: “I’m looking forward to this debate as it’s an extremely topical hot potato of a subject and I know the apprentices will do it justice. The Juice Academy apprentices are always bright, opinionated (in a good way) and ready for a debate. It’s definitely one not to miss!”

The Juice Academy – the UK’s first industry-led social media apprenticeship – was launched in 2013 by leading communications consultancy, Tangerine, to help fill a skills gap in the digital industry and to create jobs for young people.

Carly Phillips, programme assistant at The Academy, is one of its former apprentices – now fully employed helping to run The Academy – and also one of the speakersfor the motion. She said: “This is such an interesting topic – one often discussed among our apprentices and the digital strategists at Tangerine. I’ve been doing my homework and I’m looking forward to my eight minutes and the lively debate among my ‘opponents’ and with the audience.”


The other apprentices are:

·         Nathan Youd, Tangerine

·         Jack Bocock, Tunafish Media

·         Sammie Williams, Savills