The accountancy apprenticeship route has opened up a career pathway for 19 year old Ben Hartfield despite not having a definite idea of what he wanted to do prior to applying for the post at Elsby and Co just over 16 months ago. For his employer, their first venture into apprenticeships has proved an invaluable and sustainable route to attracting fresh talent and one which is now part of their workforce growth plans, according to Head of Resourcing, Kate Smart.
“We took this opportunity seriously and enlisted the help of specialist apprenticeship recruiting firm, Salad Skills who managed the whole process. A year on, we now firmly believe in championing apprentices to develop them into potential partners of the future,” added Kate.
The journey has been a learning curve for both sides. For Ben: “It was a whole new world to me; working in an office, with people I didn’t know, many older than me, making sure I turned up on time every day and waiting for assignments to be given to me took some time to adjust to but I have absolutely no regrets. I completed my level 2 and I’ve now started the Level 3 Advanced AAT Apprenticeship. I’ve even been able to buy a car! My self-esteem has rocketed and I’d recommend this route to anyone.”
So what advice can Ben offer to other potential apprentices? “If like me, you’d thought you’d go to ‘Uni’ but realise it’s not for you, go along to apprenticeship interviews and find out for yourself if it’s a better option, it could be the best career decision you make.”
Kate offers this advice for companies: “It’s important that you get the induction and training structure right from the outset and hold regular reviews with the apprentice and management team. We’ve also found that offering additional training such as telephone techniques has paid off too. We see the whole process as an absolute investment that is already paying dividends”