Liam Wood and Shannon Bremner, Accountancy Apprenticeship - Johnston Carmichael

Friday, 16th March 2018

Nineteen-year-old Liam Wood, from Buckie, is on an accountancy apprenticeship with Johnston Carmichael Chartered Accountants (JCCA), working as a Tax Assistant in the firm’s Inverness office.

As his title suggests, Liam’s role is largely focused on tax. A typical day will involve the preparation of tax returns, and he’ll often assist with any tax queries of clients. Prior to starting his role, Liam received internal training in completing tax returns, as well on the preparation of year-end accounts for businesses – such as farmers and traders.

He’ll soon be focusing on corporate accounts to build his understanding of Ltd companies.

As well as the in-depth internal training, Liam is also working towards professional qualifications. He’s just sat his final exam to complete his Level 3 Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification, and is hoping to move on to Level 4 very soon. Once complete, the AAT qualification will give Liam demonstrable practical experience of accountancy – experience that employers will be looking for.

For Liam, a Modern Apprenticeship is a route into a career he is passionate about: “I always knew that I would work with numbers as this is something I had a passion for from a young age.

“I had looked a lots of different options during my time at school and came to the conclusion that accountancy was the role I would be most suited to, and I was delighted to be offered the job with JCCA.

“I would definitely recommend a modern apprenticeship to a school leaver as it is a good opportunity to earn some money while you are learning. You also won’t have to pay for any of your studies as these are covered by the employer.”

One thing that Liam recommends to school leavers entering the world of work is to practice, practice, practice! Brush up on interview skills through mock interviews to help give a feel for what the experience is like and how best to structure answers to questions.

Similar to Liam, Shannon Bremner (20) is also on an accountancy apprenticeship. She’s undergone the same level of training, and has found her interpersonal skills to have vastly grown since beginning her role as she communicates with clients every day.

For Shannon, a modern apprenticeship was the right path to employment thanks to the ability to combine earning and learning, commenting: “The opportunity to study a professional qualification while gaining experience was one of the main reasons I decided to follow the modern apprenticeship route.

“Qualifying in a shorter period of time than if you were to go down the university route was also another benefit”

She’s also quick to recommend a modern apprenticeship to anyone considering it, adding: “The thought of leaving school and going straight into full time work sounds quite daunting but the level of support you receive on a day-to-day basis and during exam periods is exceptional.”