Georgia, Accountancy Apprentice for Experian, studying with BPP
I felt that, with the majority of students choosing university, it would be hard to stand out with only a degree on my CV. When I looked into other options, I thought professional apprenticeships would definitely give me something different to offer employers – valuable experience in the finance sector, a good knowledge base and studying to become a chartered accountant
I felt that, with the majority of students choosing university, it would be hard to stand out with only a degree on my CV. When I looked into other options, I thought professional apprenticeships would definitely give me something different to offer employers – valuable experience in the finance sector, a good knowledge base and studying to become a chartered accountant.
I found GetMyFirstJob through a Google Search. The system was easy to use and very simple to find the relevant apprenticeship opportunities. I was contacted by BPP who had seen my profile on GetMyFirstJob. I had a role within 2-3 months and that was with minimal effort. Simply putting your profile on this website seemed to be the key.
I had always been expected to go to university and actually had a place at University of Birmingham to study Maths, however as Finance has always been my desired career sector, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to work for a FTSE 50 company and get a fast-track route into the Finance world.
I am currently an apprentice at Experian where I do four six-month rotations around different Finance teams. I spent my first six months in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) Financial Accounting where I gained invaluable knowledge of a whole range of financial topics including Fixed Assets, Bad Debt and Reconciliations. As I work for a global company and in an EMEA team, I was also in daily contact with various contacts based around the world.
Now I have just moved to Accounts Receivable where I will be learning the basic admin tasks that underpin the team and will also be a credit controller for South Africa. This will help me develop a lot of different skills from my original placement, including communication and influence skills.
Would I recommend doing an apprenticeship? If you are confident in the sector you want to work in, then yes. You will, in most cases and definitely mine, receive a guaranteed job on completion, real knowledge and experience. I am well on the way to becoming chartered, have built a considerable business network and all while earning.
It’s a fast track route to where you want to be.
Steph, Business Admin Apprentice for Fujitsu, studying with Telford College of Arts and Technology
My apprenticeship has been varied over the past 3 years. I have been trusted to take on different projects and this has enabled me to develop many skills. The experiences I have had so far are second to none and I am so glad I decided on this route for my career. “
I chose to do an apprenticeship because I felt it would be the prime opportunity to gain more qualifications, develop my business experiences and to earn while I was learning at the same time.
I found out about GMFJ via the Jobcentre. The GMFJ system was very easy to use. It enabled me to complete my profile easily and in the long run, this would allow me to apply for roles in a much more efficient manner. The system is great for employers to search for particular candidates so your profile is important to highlight you as a person. I applied for my current role and within a month of applying for the role, I had been offered my apprenticeship.
My apprenticeship has been varied over the past 3 years. I have been given the chance to work in different parts of the business, which has helped me to utilise what I have learnt through my studies. My main role is to assist with the development of the apprenticeship programme within my company and to offer support and guidance to anyone looking to further their career. Since then, I have been trusted to take on different projects and this has enabled me to develop many skills. The experiences I have had so far are second to none and I am so glad I decided on this route for my career.
My apprenticeship gave me the experience I was looking for. It has filled me with confidence and I would recommend anyone to go for an apprenticeship as the lessons are invaluable and the possibilities are endless.
Brittany, Business Admin Apprentice for Powell Williams, studying with First4Skills
I've always wanted to be successful and I feel that starting from the bottom and working my way up is the best option for me!
I chose an Apprenticeship as I thought that I would prove myself much more in a working environment than an academic one, which doesn't mean I am not academic just that this is how I prefer to show case my knowledge.
I found using GetMyFirstJob extremely easy, I just signed up, logging my details and my qualifications along with the type of job role that I was looking for and within only a week I had my first interview sorted. It was my only interview as I got the job, I was extremely impressed with how easy it was and I felt like everything was done really well and professionally.
I have always wanted to be successful and I feel that starting from the bottom and working my way up is the best option for me! I have to manage the office and pretty much everything that goes on. My duties include making sure payments are carried out, speaking to clients and putting together reports that are going out to our clients. It makes me feel that I am doing something worthwhile and actually helping to make a difference in the work place. My progression within the company has been huge and I am personally impressed about how fast I am progressing during my course.
I would definitely recommend an Apprenticeship; it's possibly the best thing available for people that don't necessarily want to continue in an academic place, because you're learning while working and getting paid for it! You get a good knowledge of real working life, although I have only been in this placement for just under a month I feel that I have learnt 10 X more in my course than I did in a year of education!
Rebecca, Retail Apprentice for New Look, studying with Lifetime Training
My role after my apprenticeship was as a sales assistant, since then I have progressed onto management supervisor.
I started my Apprenticeship as an Apprentice Sales Assistant for New Look in January 2015 as I love fashion and wanted to combine it with gaining a qualification. I was also considering going to college, however I chose an Apprenticeship as it allows you to learn as you work. It also helps you build skills that you'll need in life whilst experiencing the world of work and seeing if the job is for you.
My duties included working on tills and fitting rooms and building displays and visual merchandising. I also learnt how to cash the tills up at the end of the day. I enjoyed my Apprenticeship and made lots of friends. 2 years on I'm still with the company at the same store and I have now progressed from Sales Assistant to Management Supervisor. I'm still only 19 years old. I feel I was able to progress because of the help and support I got during my apprenticeship. I would recommend doing an apprenticeship instead of studying because at the end of it your confidence is built up and you feel comfortable in your job role.
Tom, Business Admin Apprentice for Multipack Logistics Ltd. studying with First4Skills
I choose an Apprenticeship as you gain experience as well as a qualification. It is more valuable to me than gaining a qualification without the additional work experience.
I would definitely recommend doing an Apprenticeship, as it is a great opportunity to gain experience in a functional working environment. You are being trained to do a job while actually doing it rather than learning how to do it. Due to the nature of having no work experience, an Apprenticeship was the right path. With time, I have gained quite a high level of responsibility in my apprenticeship role. I started 2 months ago and so far I am enjoying it. This is definitely the right path to choose in order to build a career.
Using GetMyFirstJob was very simple, clear and easy to apply for jobs. I applied for my role and it took me less than a month to get a job. The website was very useful when trying to find a job. The application process was straightforward and the ability to track your application and see where it was in the process was also an added bonus.
Laura, Accounts Apprenticeship
I couldn't recommend apprenticeships enough. I changed my mind from my university choices in hospitality and management to accountancy within six months of leaving school. Instead of paying £9000 a year for a subject, I’m earning that money for me.
When I went to leave school two years ago, I was set on the hospitality industry; I wanted to work in hotels, either in events or front of house. Unfortunately, I never got past the initial interview for the jobs I went for. It could have been down to the lack of experience, or the fact I wasn’t fluent in a second language; I don’t know. I was just adamant that I wasn’t going to university. The thought of being stuck in debt for the rest of my life didn’t appeal to me, and the fact that my parents were supportive of any decision I chose was also a deciding factor.
I applied to university and got accepted after I received my grades. But I turned them down. I’d decided that I was going to work at my old Saturday job at a Racecourse on a more full-time basis. I loved the job, and I was good at it. However, the lack of a full-time contract, and only working if and when the events were booked, left me with little job security. Also, by the Christmas, I was managing my own events, such as weddings and parties, so I couldn’t really see any career progression.
I'd got a bit fed up and decided to see what other jobs were out there. I’d looked at my grades and saw that my maths was consistent, so I had a look into Accountancy. I went onto apprenticeships.org.uk – the national Apprenticeships website – and GetMyFirstJob.co.uk and applied to a few vacancies, including one at BT. After a month or so of looking, I found the job I’m at now, had an interview and started the role of Accounts Assistant at the end of March last year.
I really enjoy my job; the staff I work with are friendly, my Director teaches me new things daily and helps me out if I need anything. I go to college once a week during term time where you meet a real mix of people from different careers and backgrounds. I now have the security and different options for career progression in the future, which I didn’t have before. I have finished my AAT Level 3 after being employed at Goddards Accountants for just a year and have continued onto Level 4 which should take another year. Once I’ve finished, I would like to become Chartered with ACCA, which may take another two or three years and my Director has encouraged me to do.
I couldn’t recommend apprenticeships enough. I changed my mind from my university choices in hospitality and management to accountancy within six months of leaving school. Instead of paying £9000 a year for a subject, I’m earning that money for me. I also don’t have to pay for college – the government and the company I work for do. I got to keep my car and I don’t have any financial concerns because I still live at home, for the time being at least.
If I were to give advice to someone who was in my position two years ago, I’d say to always keep your options open, until you know for sure what you want to pursue.