Martin broke new ground when he signed up for an Apprenticeship; he became the first Apprentice ever taken on by his employer, Nixon Williams Ltd.
But so impressed was the Blackpool-based firm of contractor accountants with the idea of training up its own workforce, that it has employed a total of 30 Apprentices since Martin joined in 2008.
For Martin the benefits are obvious – a secure job that he loves and qualifications that will stand him in good stead in his career in future. For his employer, there are also rewards; a pool of individuals who have been trained to meet the specific needs of what is a niche accountancy service for small businesses.
Martin, 26, from Blackpool, was always focused on finding work in accountancy. “I wanted to do something I was good at, and I was good at maths,” he says.
“I chose an Apprenticeship because I thought it would provide a platform for obtaining the qualifications needed in order to make a start in my chosen career.”
Now a fully-qualified chartered accountant, Martin got his foot on the first rung of the career ladder thanks to Training 2000, which supported him through his initial studies at college. There he was able to take exams leading towards the Association of Accounting Technicians’ (AAT) qualifications, which are essential in the world of finance.
Since then he has completed the ACCA, studying at home and in the classroom, and is now taking a distance learning course, which will lead to membership of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
Now six years into his job with Nixon Williams Ltd, Martin is adamant that Apprenticeships are an excellent route for career progression. “It’s a great way to kick-start your chosen career,” he says. “I’d certainly recommend it to others. The skills I’ve learned through taking the qualifications have helped me to learn quickly and achieve progression
“There are many benefits to the AAT and ACCA qualifications, but I would say the main one is learning the basic accounting principles. This enables you to prosper in your job.”
Nixon Williams continues to use Training 2000 to help source Apprentices and support them as they learn and earn.
Andrew Nixon, director at Nixon Williams, said: “The success of Nixon Williams is due in the main to our staff and the Apprenticeship scheme supports both them and the business in enhancing our skills. It also assists in building an effective workforce.
“We prefer to promote staff from within the business. Our practice manager joined us as an apprentice in 2008 and has rapidly moved up to his present position.”
The company currently employs 10 apprentices and these are given support and feedback on their progress, both in their studies and at work, from Training 2000, which works closely with the company.
Andrew said: “Our employees know that we encourage furthering their education and training and this helps us to retain our staff. Undergoing and achieving an accountancy qualification is also a great asset to our staff and our clients as well as the business.”
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