National Apprenticeship Week 2019: Tom’s story one year on

Last year we shared Tom’s story when he began studying the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) level 4 under the Apprenticeship Levy scheme. Since then the 24-year-old has been promoted from accounts payable assistant to financial accounts assistant, now looking after the fiscal records for building developments at Riverside. Today we hear more about his journey…

What your job entails/what you do.

I started my new job in December as financial accounts assistant looking after development accounts across the business. I’m really enjoying it because it’s very varied and I’m more involved in the accounting process. Doing the apprenticeship has helped me grasp a better understanding of the work I do in my role which involves monitoring work in progress costs for development programmes, balance sheet reconciliations, VAT returns, sales invoices for development programmes, forecasting how much the development programme is going to cost, calculating month end development journals, transfer data from one accounting systems to another, preparing and holding journals.

What course are you doing, how long is it and when do you finish.

I’m studying the AAT level 4 which includes an extra module, the Level 4 Diploma in Business Skills, as part of the apprenticeship levy. It’s an 18-month course so I finish this July. All of the studying is online and through books, so it is up to me to make time to do the learning as well as study for exams and assignments.

How have you found the course – any difficulties that you’ve had to overcome?

I am really enjoying studying the AAT level 4, the course is interesting and I’m finding it really useful I understand it more and I’m able to apply it to my role.

Is it difficult managing a work and life balance – working and learning?

I have really enjoyed my course so far but it’s been hard at times having the motivation to start studying after a long day at work, but it will be worth it at the end. The onus is on me to do the learning modules to complete the course, as there isn’t any lectures to attend, tutors to guide me through or deadlines to keep me on track.

How have you found it, any difficulties/challenges to do with the course or Apprenticeship Levy and how did you overcome it?

There’s been challenges in fulfilling the Level 4 Diploma in Business Skills element because you have to show evidence in the workplace on how the apprenticeship relates to your work. It’s really difficult to do this alongside my daily role as some of the assignments are not related to my job, it also consumes a lot of time to demonstrate this. I put time aside to ensure this is fulfilled.

Would you recommend the course to others, and doing a professional course (Apprenticeship) to others?

I would recommend studying an apprenticeship and professional qualifications to everyone as it is an alternative route to develop your career, but also there are no fees or debts at the end of it which would have been accumulated if I’d gone to university.

How does the course help our tenants/customers?

Indirectly my job helps save the organisation money by keeping these development projects on track and drive down costs, this enables Riverside to continue investing in other developments.

What’s the next steps, any plans for further study?

Once I’ve completed this qualification I plan to start studying the CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants) which I envisage will take up to four years to complete.

Is it helping you achieve your career goal and passions, and your dream job?

At the moment my goal is to progress on to the CIMA course as well as continually developing my role at Riverside, but ultimately my aspiration is to become a finance director.