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Patrick Rutherford completed an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) apprenticeship with Ashgate Hospice a couple of years ago, and has since worked at the charity as a Finance Officer.
To celebrate Apprenticeship Week, he tells us more about the journey he’s been on over the past few years.
I started my AAT apprenticeship with Ashgate Hospice in September 2016. The apprenticeship focused on accounting and finance and I studied my qualification at Chesterfield College. I decided to complete an apprenticeship because it allowed me to put the knowledge acquired within my studies into practice.
I attended Chesterfield College one day per week to study and sit exams and during a five-year period, I sat more than 20 exams in total. The other four working days of the week I would be working within my role at Ashgate, which started as a Finance Apprentice before progressing to Finance Assistant and then Finance Officer, which is my role today.
I also had to complete two portfolios over the course duration – this ensured that my apprenticeship was fulfilled to its maximum potential. There was a list of criteria that my employer and I had to meet to enable my development within a career in Finance.
The best thing about taking on an apprenticeship was that it gave me a lot of valuable experience and helped me to grasp some of the concepts much easier because I was able to use them straight away within my workplace.
I completed my apprenticeship in September 2021, which was a little longer than I expected due to changes in the course structure and COVID-19, but it was a great sense of achievement to complete it!
I’m now working permanently for the hospice as a Finance Officer, although at the moment, I am covering the role of Finance Analyst whilst my colleague is on maternity leave, which is allowing me to gain further experience beyond my usual role.
Do I think that my apprenticeship experience has helped me with my own personal development? 100%! Ashgate has been a fantastic learning environment for me due to its size and structure. I have been able to learn many elements of the finance function, which has helped me progress and grow more within my role. Yes, there’s been challenges and changes along the way, but what job doesn’t have challenges? It’s allowed me to learn how to be more adaptable to different situations.
I really gained a lot from taking on an apprenticeship. It is hard work, taking on a job role and studying might not be for everyone, but for many career paths, it’s an excellent starting point!