A self-employed accountant was spoilt for choice when it came to hiring her first apprentice.
Jodie Riddex, was so impressed with the calibre of candidates Newcastle College selected for her to interview that she struggled to decide who to appoint. Eventually she hired Stephen Doyle, 22, from Blyth, but also helped another candidate be placed with a local dentist practice.
Jodie set up her Cramlington based practice – Accounts by Jodie – in 2005 following the birth of her daughter and considered taking on staff when the business began to expand.
She had envisaged taking on a new employee but decided instead to look at providing an opportunity for an apprentice after receiving a letter from Newcastle College telling her about the Apprenticeship scheme and the benefits it offered to both employers and employees.
Jodie said: “I think the Apprenticeship scheme can help take the pressure off both the employer and the apprentice. It gives the apprentice a chance to work at their own pace and gives them the opportunity to ask lots of questions as they develop their confidence.
“It is also great that Stephen gets to attend Newcastle College to learn the theory behind his work. Having this kind of framework, particularly in the accountancy field, makes it easier for new recruits to work out how to deal with more unusual transactions.
“Stephen is making a lot of personal sacrifices to take this position which showed me that he’s thought long and hard about how this opportunity fits in with his long term career plans.”
Stephen chose an Apprenticeship because of the on the job experience and one-to-one help he would receive, as well as the opportunity to go to college.
He said: “It was a difficult decision to give up my previous job but I have no regrets. I enjoyed my job, but knew that although I had never pursued it, I really wanted to be an accountant. As soon as I saw the position advertised on the website, I just knew that I should just go for it.”
As an Accounting Apprentice, Stephen carries out a variety of tasks including administration duties to help with accounts and payroll preparation as well as completing personal tax returns and accompanying documentation.
He is studying the AAT Level 2 course at Newcastle College, and eventually hopes to become a fully qualified accountant whether working with a firm or for himself.
Barbara King, Director of the School of Health and Enterprise at Newcastle College said: “This goes to show that there are many young people out there who have the potential to make incredibly successful apprentices when matched with a local business in need of their help. At Newcastle College we provide additional support in a range of specialist areas including the financial sector to help compliment the on the job training apprentices receive.”
As one of the region’s leading Apprenticeship providers, Newcastle College has been proud to support the Journal’s recent 100 Days of Apprentices Challenge.