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Earning and learning accountancy

Adapting into employment gradually and applying learning straightaway are two bonuses which have proved a highly successful alternative to university for accounting apprentice Nathan Baker.

Nathan undertook school work experience placements, one as a trainee chef and the other in Balfours accounts department. He recalls: “This made me realise what I did, and didn’t want to do.” His positive impression of Balfours was mutual and as a result in 2012 the company offered him an apprenticeship linked to Herefordshire and Ludlow College.

Four years on and Nathan is in his second and final year as an ATT (Association of Accounting Technicians) Level 4 Higher Apprentice. Already having achieved Levels two and three through the day release system. He reflects: “As I have progressed through the levels, responsibilities have increased here at work. This includes a variety of tasks throughout the year with regular reporting sent to clients; their positive feedback gives me a sense of achievement and job satisfaction.

“There is a lot more to an accountancy apprenticeship than just being good at maths - communications, dealing with external accountants, agencies and clients are integral to the work. This year in my ATT Higher Apprenticeship, I am studying Business Skills.

”Head of accounts at Balfours, Ian Williams says: “Nathan is quite a find; he has been invaluable assisting with a growing workload as our business expands and his College training has combined well, proving to be positive for both parties.

Ian adds: “There is also the not so small matter that Nathan has been earning throughout his training and therefore giving him financial independence to follow his passion for bowling and Wolverhampton Football Club – he still has a few choices to wise up on!”



Nathan and Ian

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