NAW 2017 - Former apprentice interview: 10 years on
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week we’re catching up with a former GC apprentice, who completed his apprenticeship in finance 10 years ago.
Andy Richards is now Finance Director at Heating and Plumbing Engineers, Shackleton and Wintle. Read his interview below...
- What did you study before becoming an apprentice?
GCSE and A-Levels in the core subjects - I realized after completing these that my GCSE grades would have allowed me to complete an apprenticeship and I didn’t really need to complete A-Levels.
- What did you complete your apprenticeship in and with which company?
I completed both a Foundation and Intermediate Apprenticeship in Accountancy with Berkeley Hamilton, a firm of Chartered Accountants.
- What made you choose to do an apprenticeship?
I chose to complete an Apprenticeship due to feeling I had no other real options. The education system encouraged going to sixth form and then on to University, and whilst this suits most, I was somewhat daunted by the prospect and the level of debt that was associated with committing three years to university.
- How long were you an apprentice for?
I was an Apprentice with Gloscat (now Gloucestershire College) for effectively three years; two years were in the apprentice scheme and the final year was funded by my employer.
- Tell us a bit about what your role as an apprentice involved.
My role as an apprentice started right at the bottom of the tree, but it allowed me to learn the basics and these have formed the foundations of where I am today.
- What was your favourite thing about the apprenticeship?
My favourite thing about my apprenticeship was the variety that it offered me, studying one day per week at college and working four days allowed for lots of different things in the week!
- What did you go on to do after completing your apprenticeship?
After completing two years under the apprenticeship scheme, I completed my third year and obtained my AAT qualification. Further to this I have completed the ACCA qualification and become a Certified Accountant.
- How did your time as an apprentice benefit or influence your career?
My time as an apprentice built a good foundation to my career primarily due to the fact that I would learn theory and be able to put it to use practically. This allowed me to outperform university graduates as all they had was theoretical ability.
- Would you recommend doing an apprenticeship in your industry?
Yes definitely. The apprenticeship scheme has allowed me to build a career that I can be proud of, a career that is able to support my young family and allow me to achieve personal goals.
- What are you doing now?
In March 2016 I left Berkeley Hamilton and I now work as the Finance Director at Shackleton and Wintle Ltd. Since joining the company I have encouraged the Board of Directors that the apprenticeship scheme is a good way for the company to give back to the community and invest in young people and the potential future of the company.
We have introduced 11 apprentices recently, which I view as very positive.
If you're interested in following in Andy's footsteps, check out our latest apprenticeship vacancies here.