Andrew set for a high-flying career in finance
The chance to see the wheels of industry turning inspired Gloucestershire College apprentice Andrew Hemming, to embark on a higher apprenticeship which puts his head for figures to good use behind the scenes of production.
After completing his A Levels at Pershore High School, Andrew opted for an apprenticeship in Operations Finance with world leader in aircraft manufacturing, Safran Landing Systems, rather than go to university.
He said: “I have always been interested in how value can be added to something by turning it into something else, so Operations Finance was a career path that seemed right for me.
“I toured universities, but it was visiting the Safran Gloucester site for the first time at my interview that sparked the passion for what I now do.
“My apprenticeship gives me the opportunity to earn whilst I learn and avoid the debt of a student loan. I chose my employer because of their excellent reputation of supporting apprentices.”
The 21-year-old from Pershore has already completed his Level 2 Intermediate and Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships in Accounting at Safran, passing all his AAT exams first time. He has since progressed on to a Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Accounting with the company.
Andrew’s role as an apprentice involves a range of financial tasks that keep the day-to-day production running smoothly. This includes analysing production variances; reporting on overtime spend; dealing with differences in the company’s two stock systems; reconciling financial accounting, and more.
He said: “I have learnt skills in finance, as well as communication, and generally working as part of a team. I’ve also learnt about the manufacturing process and what needs to be in place to support it, through placements within the factory.
“A project of particular interest to me was creating a dashboard which helps managers control the overtime spend in their area. This has developed my understanding of computer systems and software, as well as communicating with different levels of management.
“The best thing about the apprenticeship is working with the great team at Safran and seeing first-hand the benefits that a well-oiled finance department can bring to an organisation.”
Gloucestershire College works with over 650 local businesses across 19 industries to deliver its award winning apprenticeships, with a focus on supporting and shaping students to meet real business needs.
Safran Landing Systems (formally Messier-Bugatti-Dowty) has a long history of recruiting, training and developing apprentices through its successful apprenticeship programme.
Stephen Richards, Finance Manager – Operations, said: “Apprenticeships play a key role in ensuring we maintain a highly skilled and qualified workforce.
“Andrew brings a level of enthusiasm and dynamism to the office. He now has a number of duties including analysing trends and investigating manufacturing costs.
“He is always keen to take on new tasks and responsibilities, and is now able to put forward his own ideas about how we can make improvements in the way Operations Finance serves our customers.”
Higher apprenticeships provide young people with the opportunity to gain professional accreditations and memberships, whilst gaining valuable work experience. As with all GC apprenticeships, Andrew is visited and supported by a dedicated Training Coordinator and Assessor.
He said: “My favourite thing about the College has been the support of my Assessor, both during and outside of class. It has been good to know that they are only an email away if I’ve had problems between classes.
“My apprenticeship has given me a good grounding in accounting and bookkeeping, and I plan to use the qualifications I’ve achieved to support me in becoming a chartered accountant.
“Apprenticeships give you the valuable experience that employers look for and it’s rewarding to see your studies being put to good use within a business. I would recommend an apprenticeship because it is insightful, rewarding and, most importantly, fun.”
Gloucestershire College delivers higher apprenticeships across a broad range of career areas, from engineering, accounting and cyber security, to business and professional administration, catering and care leadership and management.
If you’re a young person considering doing an apprenticeship with Gloucestershire College, find out more at: www.gloscol.ac.uk/apprenticeships