Two Birmingham students have been selected to undertake an accountancy apprenticeship with Aston Villa football club, while at the same time receiving life skills via the club’s coaching department.
Kiemara Fields and Aaron Banks have become the first recipients of the accounting apprenticeship scheme, orchestrated by Leadership through Sport and Business (LTSB).
Fields and Banks will experience every aspect of the financial sector in Birmingham, the duo will undergo paid apprenticeships at two of the participating companies in Birmingham which include banks and international accounting firms
All the apprentices that join Villa’s scheme will train for an AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians), in association with South and City College in Birmingham.
‘‘We’re pleased to have recruited the first young people to this exciting new programme, including Kiemara and Aaron,’’ explained Ravinder Masih, head of Villa in the Community.
‘‘Birmingham has a thriving and rapidly growing finance sector, and we’re proud to be supporting young people from across Birmingham’s communities to gain apprenticeships with renowned businesses.’’
‘‘This programme is a fantastic opportunity, and I encourage any young person from local communities with an interest in accounting to apply to join Kiemara and Aaron and work hard towards a bright future.’’
Football’s influence on apprenticeships
This is not the first time that a Premier League club has recruited apprentices.
In July, Apprentice Eye brought to you news that Chelsea FC, current Premier League champions, hope to encourage more women to undertake financial service apprenticeships as it undertakes an accountancy apprenticeship programme this summer.
Chelsea’s apprenticeship scheme is also organised by LTSB, which has have ventured into the West Midlands for the first time through its partnership with Aston Villa.
‘‘The high cost of studying at university, plus the fact that many companies are crying out for young people with good employability skills, means that apprenticeships are now more important than ever,’’ explained Caroline Adair, executive director at LTSB.
‘‘We offer young people from state schools or disadvantaged backgrounds the chance to transform their lives by training for a great career while they are earning.’’
‘‘The things you learn while playing sport or coaching – like good communication and teamwork – are highly valued by employers.’’
‘‘Our programme also teaches the importance of basic requirements like good presentation and punctuality. This means our apprentices actually often have a head start in the jobs market over many graduates.’’