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Up and Coming

National Apprenticeship week in February and Scottish Apprenticeship Week in March shone a light on the vital role that apprenticeships play in businesses and the economy.

As we mentioned in  our last newsletter, GWA has had the pleasure of recently welcoming many new faces to the team at all levels and across all departments. This time around, we thought we’d introduce a few of our younger trainees and see how they are settling in. So please meet Isabella, Jamie, Jay and Taylor.

Isabella Seale (IS): After graduating from Durham University, Isabella joined GWA’s Graduate Chartered Accountant Training Scheme last July.
Jamie McIntosh (JMc): Jamie joined our Tax team in July 2021 shortly after leaving school. Jamie is working towards a Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CFAB), a Level 4  apprenticeship that can be a step towards becoming a Chartered Accountant.
Jay Baverstock (JB): Jay is from Berwick and joined our IT team in August 2021. He is working towards a Level 3 Information Communication Technician Apprenticeship with Kaplan.
Taylor Aldred (TA): Originally from Haddington, Taylor started working in our Berwick office last July after completing an Accounting Diploma. Taylor works within our Accounts department
and is studying towards Level 7 Chartered Accountant Apprenticeship.

Q: What prompted you to apply for a job at GWA?
TA: I knew the firm because my dad is a client and I liked the business ethos. Having gained a Diploma in Accountancy, I knew I wanted to continue in that field and kept an eye out for opportunities at GWA.
JB: Within Berwick, GWA has a reputation as a good employer, so I looked for opportunities when I left school.
IS: I was studying Maths at Durham and wanted to pursue a career in accountancy. I knew I wanted to stay in the North East and I looked for a firm that gave a wide range of opportunities without being too big – GWA fitted the bill.

Q: What has impressed you most so far?
JMc: It’s a fairly chilled working atmosphere. Everyone is relaxed and makes time for you, even if they are busy.
JB: I like the people. They’re all friendly and say hello.
IS: For me, the best part is the challenge of the work and the freedom to be given a task and get on with it.
TA: I’ve enjoyed putting the theory I learned through studying for my Diploma into practice. You are allowed to make mistakes and learn from them with the safety net that there is always  someone to help you and give you advice.

Q: What has been the most difficult about starting a new role, and for some of you in a new place, during a pandemic?
JB: I found going to a full-time 9 to 5 job straight from school a big adjustment.
IS: Studying alongside work is a real challenge. It’s quite tiring concentrating all day, especially if you are learning something new, and then having to revise or study in the evening too.
TA: I was used to living close to Edinburgh, so when I first moved to Berwick I found it very quiet. Now that COVID restrictions have been eased, I’m looking forward to experiencing more of the social side of work.
JMc: Initially I found the pace very fast and especially struggled with the accounting terminology. In my second week I had to go to Newcastle on a course and I found it all a bit daunting, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

Q: Where do you see yourself in 3 years time?
IS: I’d like to be fully qualified and hopefully still employed here at GWA.
JB: Yes, I’d like to still be with GWA too; I’m enjoying my job and hopefully there will be opportunities to progress.
JMc: Now that I’m getting the hang of all the lingo, I’m enjoying the work. I would like to be working towards chartership – hopefully still here at GWA.
TA: I will hopefully be fully qualified then and would love to be still working at GWA.

We would like to thank Isabella, Jamie, Jay and Taylor  for their time and honesty and are delighted that they seem to be enjoying their jobs and Berwick. We are hugely grateful to them and every one of our recent new starters for their enthusiasm and willingness to throw themselves into all aspects of GWA life.

As we continually say, our team is our most important asset. Attracting ambitious people ensures our vision to deliver Quality Advice Quality Service. Clearly, studying and working has its challenges and requires dedication. However, if you have the commitment, are friendly, confident and approachable and will get on well with our clients then a career at GWA may be the ideal choice for you.

We have a wide range of clients across all business types and industries. And, as well as a full range of Accountancy services, we offer VAT, Company Secretarial and Payroll services, HR advice, Wealth Management and IT services. Our size means that we can offer you a breadth of experience without you becoming pigeon-holed. This balance is more difficult to achieve in either very small or very large organisations.

If you’re interested in joining the GWA family, then we would love to hear from you. To find out more about what it’s like to work at GWA or to check our latest vacancies, visit the careers page or give us a call.

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