Tottenham MP David Lammy inspired accountancy apprentices to achieve their dreams on a visit to the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London (CONEL).
The former Minister of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills spoke to the group who are all part of the College’s Accounting Academy, run in partnership with Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB).
Speaking to the apprentices, Mr Lammy, who has represented the Tottenham constituency since 2000, shared his five keys to success – education, employment, aspiration, parenting and community.
On employment, the Labour MP said: “Employment is really, really important. And what I’ve learnt is that you have to do as much work experience as possible because it helps you work out what you really want to do, it usually brings in income and it creates a network - who you know and what you know, it says to future employers, ‘This is someone I might want to employ,’.”
During his visit, Mr Lammy told the group about his life growing up in Tottenham and took questions on subjects including crime, austerity and the welfare state.
The Accounting Academy provides pre-apprenticeship training and accountancy apprenticeships, along with the opportunity to gain new skills and undertake internships with top employers in the financial sector.
Pre-apprenticeships are short courses that act as a stepping stone to a full apprenticeship by preparing students for their chosen career.
Accountancy pre-apprentices Cheyann Coulson and Nabhan Moore were among those listening to Mr Lammy’s talk at the College’s Microsoft Showcase Classroom.
Cheyann, 17, said “I thought it was really good how he wants ethnic minorities to be understood and equal in the community.
“His passion and drive were very inspiring. Knowing where he has come from to where he is now was something to really aspire to.”
Nabhan, 21, added: “It was definitely inspiring. Probably more so because he’s from a background and environment I can relate to.
“He made it clear there were no excuses to get where you want to go.”
CONEL offers AAT accredited Accounting courses from Level 1 to 4 and a pre-apprenticeship at Level 2 leading to apprenticeships at Level 3 and Level 4.
LTSB has been running for more than six years and works with over 60 employers, including big names such as Santander, EY, Deloitte and Barclays.
Addressing the apprentices, Pete Ward, Head of Operations at LTSB, said: “A lot of the points David’s made are exactly the points we make on your behalf when speaking to employers.
“The quality you bring is from your background, the quality of resilience, there are things you can bring from where you came from and take them to a new environment, which is of huge value to offer your employers, that’s the argument we make.”