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National Apprenticeship Week – Meet Arnold Baxendale and Georgia Holt

Arnold Baxendale and Georgia Holt joined VolkerStevin as Trainee Accountants in 2022, where they enrolled on an Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) Level 2 apprenticeship. Arnold and Georgia finished their apprenticeship in October 2023 and are now studying for their Level 3 AAT. We spoke to Arnold and Georgia to find out more about how their responsibilities have changed since completing their apprenticeship and what they plan to do next.

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What were the benefits of your apprenticeship?

Arnold: Undertaking an apprenticeship with VolkerStevin gave me the opportunity to work alongside some very experienced and knowledgeable accountants, which proved very beneficial to my training. I found the work I was completing for the business was helping to reinforce what I was learning at college, and I would encourage anyone who is interested in finance to start studying AAT.

I have also been nominated for the Exceptional Apprentice of 2023 award at Runshaw College, this has been a very proud moment for me and has proved that my hard work throughout my apprenticeship has paid off!

Georgia: One of the main benefits of my apprenticeship was the support system I had, through both the college and VolkerStevin, I was surrounded by people who provided me with guidance and encouragement.

I also found that an apprenticeship provided me with the perfect work-life balance, as I was able to attend college classes during the day and have time to study in the evening.

How have your responsibilities changed now you have completed your apprenticeship?

Arnold: I have very similar responsibilities to this time last year which include month end reports, balance sheet reconciliations, recurring journals, invoicing and more. However, I have now been given the additional responsibility of managing cash forecasting for VolkerStevin.

Georgia: It’s a similar situation for me too, my responsibilities are very similar to this time last year however I do have several new tasks which require the knowledge and skills I am currently learning in this course.

How do you find balancing your workload with your studies?

Arnold: I find it quite challenging at times, managing my workload and prioritising my studies can be difficult. Due to the nature of my job, my workload changes throughout the year and it is especially challenging during month end. However, I receive a lot of support from my line manager and team, and we are always willing to help one another.

Since completing my apprenticeship, I have found that the knowledge I learnt throughout my course has allowed me to complete tasks more efficiently and to a higher standard, this has also helped me to find a better balance.

Georgia: I found it tough at first, however completing my level 2 apprenticeship taught me how to balance my workload and studies, whilst also allowing myself enough time to revise and complete any college tasks.

My level 3 diploma has been a big step-up from my level 2 apprenticeship, but my manager has been extremely understanding of this, she has considered both my workload and my progression to ensure that I am able to complete all my tasks and that I am not feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  

What are your goals after you achieve your level 3 AAT?

Arnold: After finishing my level 3 AAT, I hope to be able to start working towards my level 4 AAT, which is the highest level of AAT accounting qualification. I would then like to achieve a specialised management accounting qualification from the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants or a qualification from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Georgia: I also hope to complete my level 4 AAT, whilst having more responsibilities at work which will help to grow my knowledge and confidence.