Gain skills relevant to the workplace with a Higher Apprenticeship

Simone Masterson completed a Higher Apprenticeship with ICAEW and is now working towards her ACA qualification

Simone began her Higher Apprenticeship at the age of 18, straight after completing her A-levels. She had always wanted a career in accountancy and finance, ever since attending a careers fair when she was 16. She also liked the idea of the ACA qualification and all of the doors it could open. Shortly after applying to a number of universities to study accountancy and finance, Simone heard about ICAEW’s Higher Apprenticeship. The scheme would allow her to get her career started, while studying and gaining practical experience along the way.

“It worked really well for me, as I like to keep myself busy,” says Simone. “I don’t like to have lots of spare time as I get bored, so the Higher Apprenticeship was perfect! I learnt such a variety of skills over the two years and I think it has really helped me progress on to the ACA.

“A Higher Apprenticeship doesn’t just test your ability to pass exams; you also have to learn how to present to an audience, communicate ideas and even chair meetings. I’ve also had to demonstrate my knowledge of Microsoft Excel and make suggestions to help solve problems. These are all skills that are used a lot in the workplace.”

Upon completion of her higher apprenticeship, Simone took an opportunity at BDO to complete her ACA qualification.

“While training for the ACA, I also became involved with my local ICAEW student society, which I am now the chair of, so a lot of my time outside of the office is spent organising networking events for peers. I was also elected as the chair of the ICAEW Student Council, which, at 21, made me the youngest-ever chair. None of this would have been possible if I had not taken the Higher Apprenticeship route.”