Jess Holden [AAT Apprenticeship]

The Interview

Hi Jess, tell us a bit about yourself and the company you are working for

I’m an accounting apprentice completing my level 3 AAT qualifications at Gablemere. Gablemere Ltd was established in 1993 initially supplying Canada Green grass seed to the Retail trade and Mail Order Companies. We have now evolved into one of the UK’s leading suppliers of Garden Furniture, Awnings, Gazebos, Solar Lighting, Planters and Indoor Furniture.

We trade with customers such as The Range, Amazon, Argos, Studio and many more.

I work alongside numerous, highly motivated individuals which undertake various job roles such as customer services, sales managers, quality control and a financial controller.

Describe your role at Gablemere

My role within Gablemere is an accounts assistant apprentice therefore I work alongside the financial controller through managing the financial side of the business.

I undertake daily tasks such as invoicing, reporting, bank reconciliations and at the end of the month I am challenged with the task of completing the end of month accounts. All of the daily tasks that I undertake each day accompany me to complete the end of month accounts therefore I have to ensure that I am precise and accurate with my work.

What was your route into your current Apprenticeship?  What qualifications and experience did you need?

Last year I completed my level 2 business and accounting qualifications as a full time learner at Kidderminster college. From this I was able to then be accompanied with the knowledge and the basic understandings of an apprentice accountant.

Throughout my level 2 aat qualification I undertook various work experience at numerous accounting firms such as Wyre forest district council, where I was able to put into practice the knowledge that I had developed in the classroom, to real life work place experience.

How did you find an apprenticeship?

I used the government website as well as the college apprenticeship recruitment team to help me to find a suitable apprenticeship.

What are the pros and cons for you of doing an Apprenticeship rather than the full time college or University route?

I believe that the benefits of being an apprentice is that you are able to gain real life work experience through learning alongside professionals who are able to help you to put the classroom knowledge into practice. Through being an apprentice you get the best of both by earning money through working and then enhancing your learning through the college one day a week.

On the contrary, even though you do get to complete a lot of hands-on work, some apprentices are limited from engaging in some types of activities by legal or practical standards.

What’s next?

At the end of my apprenticeship I would hope to be able to then go on to complete my level 4 AAT through Gablemere as I believe that this would give me the best career options and experiences.

My next career move would be to work may way through  ACA, which is a highly-respected professional qualification to enable me to become a chartered accountant.

What are your top tips for successful applications and CV’s?
What are your top tips for a successful interview?
Any advice for future apprentices?
How has Covid-19 affected your work?

Covid-19 hasn’t majorly affected us as a business due to us being an online trading business.

We have been able to put in place covid safety procedures such as wearing masks and limiting to 6 In an office. This enables everybody to remain safe in these uncertain times. I have not had any experiences of furlough or redundancies during my apprenticeship.

Looking for an apprenticeship?


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