Posted: 08 Feb. 2022 5 min. read

Apprenticeships – An opportunity like no other

Josh Pike, a senior associate in the Financial Services Audit practice in Cardiff, talks about how their career is progressing since they started their apprenticeship.

I joined Deloitte’s Financial Services Audit team in 2019 and I am now two years into my four-year apprenticeship, known as the BrightStart programme. By the end I will be a chartered ACA accountant.

Can you see how you’ve progressed?

When I first joined the firm, I was an assistant associate and have since been promoted to senior associate. This means I have more responsibility and I’m now able to work more independently. I also now feel like I make a difference within my team. A lot of my time is spent supporting and coaching others, and this has helped me to develop other skills that will be useful for my long-term career development.

I can see first-hand the progress I have made in my technical knowledge – for example, I now find myself answering complex questions, the same ones I asked for help with when I first joined.

I’ve also had opportunities to push myself and have frequent check-ins with my managers. We go over areas where I am doing well and identify ones where I need more experience so that I can continue my career development and personal growth. For example, my confidence has grown, and I feel I have definitely improved my people management skills.

What’s it like to work, learn, and study?

With an apprenticeship, you earn whilst you learn. At times, I can find it difficult to juggle my day-to-day work alongside studying. Of course, I have the support of managers and mentors to turn to. They are helpful to talk to and can help both organise and prioritise your workload. We get study leave, and tutors and coaches that have definitely helped with this and guided me where necessary.

I like being in a big team - everyone is willing to help you out and answer questions - and this was something that definitely drew me to Deloitte!

The technical training I have completed with our learning provider can sometimes be challenging. But then again, it’s always exciting when you pass an exam and share your success with your peers and teams! Plus, the knowledge I have gained has been useful for my own work as well as supporting others.

What’s changed since the pandemic?

In September 2021, the firm transitioned to hybrid working, i.e. working from both the office and from home, but always keeping in line with the latest government guidelines. Deloitte allows agile working so we can work when best suits us. The different audit teams I’ve worked with have adapted to this and we have supported each other in the best way possible. In fact, over the last two years there has been an increased focus on wellbeing within our Financial Services Audit team which I think is incredibly important.

Across the whole firm, you can see there is a stronger focus on mental health and wellbeing. A new ‘thrive’ network has been introduced that looks to support individuals and help them feel less alone by breaking the stigma attached to mental health. By normalising talking about your own mental health and supporting others with theirs, I feel we’ve made strides to break the taboo and make space for people to thrive at work. Our people work best by being themselves and its healthier to know and say how you’re feeling. Creating an open team environment means that you can feel supported and able to lean on others when needed.

What’s next for you?

Looking towards the future, if my next few exams and months go smoothly, I’m hopeful that I’ll be considered for a promotion to Assistant Manager. I definitely feel ready for the next step up and challenge!

Apprenticeship Week Wales celebrates apprenticeships and the value they bring to employers and learners across Wales.

#WPCYMRU #AWWALES #BuildTheFuture

Deloitte is a supporter of Apprenticeship Week Wales and, by sharing our stories, we would like to encourage everyone to consider how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career. We’re one of a number of employers celebrating the apprenticeship community, highlighting the opportunities to earn a wage and gain new skills and qualifications, and showcasing the resilience of apprentices and their employers during the pandemic.

You can find out more on our apprenticeship programmes on our careers pages  – we offer both higher and entry level apprenticeships.

Deloitte's virtual Spring careers festival

Deloitte’s virtual Spring careers festival is underway - a programme of virtual events that potential applicants can join, as well as parents, teachers and careers advisors. It’s open to everyone and focused on helping you learn more and make career decisions. Events range from discover sessions, where people can chat online with Deloitte people about different opportunities at our firm, upskill sessions – on demand or live – to boost your strengths or find out more about our assessment process, as well as ‘Meet Deloitte’ sessions.

Find out more here.

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