Jamie joined MK Community Foundation on the 25th April this year and he is already a highly valued member of the team!
He is MK Community Foundation’s first apprentice.
Why did you join the Apprenticeship Scheme at MK Community Foundation?
I felt that starting an accountancy apprenticeship would mean good prospects for the future. I hope that it will open up so many doors and allow me to achieve my potential. I feel there will be scope for promotion in the future, which is important to me, as I like to have long-term aims and aspirations.
Also, I feel that working in the charity sector is quite a bonus as I work for an organisation which is not solely focused on making money, I don’t just feel like one of ‘the cogs in the works’. There seems to be more respect shown to employees here by outside parties and MK Community Foundation pays its apprentices fairly.
Nearly all apprentices feel that they acquire or improve their skills as a direct result of their apprenticeship! Education, Skills & Funding Agency 21/02/17
Was this the only option for you? Were there other possible routes?
There were other apprenticeships available and I did have interviews at some other companies but none of them felt as warm and as welcoming as MK Community Foundation. When I arrived for my interview here, the staff went out of their way to give me a smile or shake my hand – it was a good feeling. Also, it helps that MK Community Foundation pays quite well!
I could have applied to university to study accountancy but I would have still had to take professional exams after gaining a degree. As a hands-on learner, I felt that the apprenticeship scheme would give me the option of ‘learning on the job’ and getting paid at the same time. Another negative associated with the university path is the accrual of debt due to fees and student loans; I didn’t feel this build-up of debt could be justified!
I have GCSEs and studied Business, Media & Science at level 3 BTEC during my time at Sixth Form.
What made you choose accountancy as a profession?
There are good prospects for trained accountants and they will always be needed, as it is a legal requirement to balance your books. The accountancy sector generally pays well and there are always opportunities for progression. As a person with a logical mind-set, working with numbers does not scare me and I enjoy the challenge of solving a discrepancy. Another bonus of being an accountant is the ability to transfer your knowledge to a variety of industries.
Can you explain your working week? Do you have to attend college etc.?
I spend 4 days in the office and one day at MK College (Wednesday) studying for my AAT Level Two course. I am allocated one hour each week to complete any tasks which have been assigned by college. In terms of my workload, I have scheduled daily, weekly and monthly tasks allotted but most of my time is taken up with supplier invoices. Recently, I was given a college task to create a process sheet for this task and I now know why this process takes up the majority of my working week – there are 12 steps involved!
Would you recommend the ‘apprentice route’ to others?
Yes, definitely! There are many reasons why, firstly you are paid while learning. You will not end up with a huge university debt. A factor that is not as obvious but just as important is you learn how to fit into the workplace, acquiring the workplace etiquette. Finally, it’s an opportunity to get into the habit of the working day – starting at 08:30 and finishing 17:00 comes as a bit of a shock after school hours!
Apprenticeship participation now stands at a record level - there were 509,400 apprenticeship starts in the 2015 to 2016 academic year of which 131,400 were under 19. Education, Skills & Funding Agency 21/02/17