Apprenticeship Week 2020: Jujitsu ace Jonathan grapples with finance at Riverside

At just 18, Jonathan Ward is already a skilled jujitsu blue belt.

But now he’s also grappling with another goal – becoming a fully qualified accountant at Riverside.

As part of our series of apprenticeship profiles for Apprenticeship Week 2020, the Liverpool-lad, who works at our Head Office in Speke, spoke to us about his apprenticeship journey and the impact our Riverside apprenticeship scheme has had on him.

Why did you apply to be an apprentice?
“I’ve always been interested figures and numbers ever since I studied statistics at A-level. I was lucky enough to secure work experience at an accountancy firm and I really enjoyed it, making me want to learn more.”

And why Riverside?
“The size of the organisation was a big pull. It has a real presence within the local area. It was such a great opportunity, I jumped at the chance to apply. My apprenticeship also allows me the chance to move around different areas of Riverside every three months. It’s a great way to learn about all the different things we do to help and support our customers.”

What are your key learning points so far?
“Working in an office environment has been a really good experience; having the chance to learn from others, understand different systems and technical skills such as processing invoices and creating spreadsheets. I’m trusted to apply the theory I learn during my study in my day to day role.”

How do you balance your study and work responsibilities?
“I attend college one day a week and as part of my apprenticeship scheme. I’m required to use 20 per cent of my time either studying or applying the new skills. I have learned on work-based tasks. My manager and Riverside have been really supportive and allowed me the right amount of time so that I don’t feel under pressure. It’s about talking with each other and letting them know how I am getting on.”

What are you working on at the moment?
“I’m currently helping process rent reconciliations and chargeable repairs, which is perfect as, in college, I’m studying double entry (credit and debit). I’m able to practically apply my learning.”

What’s your ultimate career aspiration?
To become a fully qualified accountant.

Since the start of this financial year Riverside has welcomed 14 new hire apprentices and in total has 120 learners mid-programme.

We have spent almost a quarter of a million on development and to do so we have built strong partnering relationships with eight of the UK’s leading training providers from academic institutions such as Leicester and Sheffield Colleges to specialist providers such as Dutton Fisher, who have been fundamental to the rollout of our Housing/Property Management apprenticeship.

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