For Arthi Mahinda the choice of an accountancy apprenticeship was a no brainer.
After completing her A-levels she decided to enrol on a pre-apprenticeship programme at the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL) to provide her with the skills to start a full apprenticeship later this year, and has also joined its Accounting Academy.
The academy, run in partnership with Leyton Orient Football Club, offers a wide range of activities, such as, sports coaching, personal branding, presentation skills, interview techniques and social media training to support learners on AAT apprenticeship and pre-apprentice schemes.
Arthi, 18, said: “There are a lot of benefits with an apprenticeship, such as getting a job straightaway, the money you earn and real work experience.
“I’ve always liked numbers and accountancy was an obvious choice. I am enjoying what I’m learning and the teachers make it easy to understand.
“The Academy is a good opportunity to gain leadership skills. I am not much of a leader, but this will help give me the skills and confidence to lead a team, which will be really useful in the future.”
Khairunnisa Hussain 18, is also taking a pre-apprenticeship.
“My teacher used to be an accountant and inspired me to try it out, and thought I might be able to teach it one day. I’m enjoying my apprenticeship and The Academy will really enhance my skills to get me a good job,” she said.
Pre-apprentice Krissana Kaeween, 17, realised sixth form wasn’t for him.
He said: “I prefer to learn by doing more practical things and thought the best option would be to do an apprenticeship.
“I saw an online survey which showed accountants are among the highest earners and wanted to gain the skills and experience to make this my career, and to better manage my own money.”
CONEL offers AAT apprenticeships and courses at Levels 1 to 4 part-time and full-time, enabling study towards chartered qualifications, namely CIMA, ACCA and ICAEW, or alternatively a degree.
The College is currently working with accountancy firms, such as Goldman Sachs and KPMG, which are providing a range of employability workshops
The Academy gives apprentices aged 16 to 24 the chance to develop their leadership skills through football coaching courses with the football club, and put these into practice through work placement at local primary schools. It provides opportunities for apprentices to hear from top industry employers, work placements and gain employability skills, including CV writing and interview techniques.
Jackie Mitchell, Head of School for Accounting, said: “The Accounting Academy is a great opportunity for young people to become proficient in accounting as well as develop skills in leadership, communication, build confidence and generally become great assets to any workforce.”
“Accountancy is quite a traditional area of business and many top firms tend to take on graduates, but by giving our apprentices these skills we are looking to give them the edge when it comes to competing for a job.”