Ellenor Forsyth started an apprenticeship five years ago after finishing her A-levels and discovering her year group was the first to face increased university fees.
Ellenor said: “I didn’t want to rush straight into a university course for the sake of it without understanding what I wanted from my career. I decided to take a year out and get some work experience instead, once I started working and earning I realised quickly that I didn’t want to go back into full-time education as the skills I was learning on the job were so valuable.”
But Ellenor did want to get a professional qualification – and came across the NHS Finance AAT Apprenticeship. “It seemed the perfect fit and offered the best of both worlds,” she said.
Ellenor found herself in a supportive team that gave her time to do the college work, and provided her with a good grounding in office skills and how to communicate professionally.
Ellenor said: “My apprenticeship journey was brilliant, it helped shape me into the person I am today. The team I worked with were so supportive. It can be tough juggling work and study, and an apprenticeship is not an easy option by any means, but they are set up to provide you with that support.”
Since finishing her apprenticeship Ellenor has been successful in getting a permanent position in the team, completing the full Finance AAT qualification (to degree level) and fully qualifying as an accountant.
“I have also progressed through the finance department, working in a variety of roles and gaining five promotions in five years.” I am now a Senior Financial Advisor in the NHS and really enjoying the role. I have also been involved in training other apprentices in the department as well as promoting apprenticeships within the trust.”
Ellenor is taking a break from education at the moment but is interested in pursuing business and leadership qualifications in the future. She said: “I will always look back at my apprenticeship and know that it was the best option for me and it has paid off. I will also continue to promote the great apprenticeships out there to young people and the benefits they can offer.”
“My advice to anyone considering an apprenticeship would be to take full advantage of the opportunity to stand out and work hard and it will pay off as the first stepping stone in your career.”