28th Oct 2022
This month we had the pleasure of catching up with Ben Green, Abingdon & Witney College’s Apprentice of the Month for August! Ben – who works for Oxford Brookes University – has just completed his AAT Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship, after submitting his professional discussion, (sometimes known as a viva) to complete his end-point assessment.
Ben had begun his journey at College with a Level 2 Apprenticeship, only two months before the first Covid Lockdown in 2020. Despite the challenge of working and studying remotely, Ben found Oxford Brookes “incredibly supportive”. After completing his Level 2 Apprenticeship, Ben felt it was natural to progress immediately onto Level 3, and then Level.
Before starting his Level 2, Ben hadn’t considered apprenticeships as an option: “I hadn’t realised I could do an apprenticeship; I had always wanted to undertake professional development and it was OBU that suggested this route. Initially they contacted the College and here I am now”.
Gemma Burgess Abingdon & Witney College’s Quality Lead for Work Based Learning spoke to us about the college end of the application process for Apprenticeships: “When Oxford Brookes first contacted us, it was important to make sure that Ben’s job role fitted the apprenticeship framework. Then we have to do some initial assessment to make sure that Ben is a good candidate for the apprenticeship on offer… That took place at the Level 2 and then this led on through to the opportunity to do the Level 4 course”
Despite Lockdown challenges, Ben enjoyed his time as an apprentice, and has had support from staff and from other Apprentices:
“I’ve had a couple of different managers in the time I’ve been doing my Apprenticeship and they always been supportive of the course and me undertaking professional development.
“I’m sure I speak for all the students on the Level 4 course, when I say our tutor Karen Walker has been fantastic. We’ve been a close-knit group and Karen has kept us focussed and on task. We created our on WhatsApp group where we could ask each other questions and share our experiences. This was especially helpful in lockdown as we couldn’t be on site and discuss things in person. We did the whole Teams meeting learning curve, working from home and generally adjusting to a different way of working. All-in-all I’ve really enjoyed the course.”
Ben noted it was quite a step-up from the Level 3 to the Level 4 Apprenticeship and felt that without Karen as his tutor it would have been much harder; “She has the ability to make the technical simple and what can be a bland subject interesting and energising”.
While undertaking his apprenticeships, Ben has been seconded to a new role within the university. He has found that his studies have been complementary to his time in the workplace, and that his practical knowledge from his role has helped him on his course in turn.
Now Ben has completed his Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician course, he’s decided to take a break from learning, and take a well-earned holiday! For his next steps, Ben wants to look at his options within the Finance sector; “I’ll take a look at what area within finance I may want to specialise in, such as tax!”