During National Apprenticeship Week (6th - 12th February 2023), our Director of Finance, Kaye Coulthard, shares how her first role as an apprentice helped her build a career in finance.
'I joined BCHG back in 2015 and have been Director of Finance since March 2018. Much of my career prior to joining BCHG was within the Public Sector where I started off as a 19-year-old Modern Apprentice. I did really well at school and went on to study A Levels, but by this time I was tired of education in its purest sense and had no desire to go on to university. For a year or so I worked in temporary roles until I saw the opportunity to apply for an apprenticeship. This presented the perfect opportunity for me, to not only continue with my studies, but also gain valuable experience which enabled me to begin building a career. I started as the most junior member of the team, learning my trade, and then gradually progressed as I completed each stage of my studies which also ‘unlocked’ promotion opportunities in terms of my role. I remained with the organisation for over 15 years, during that time I completed both my AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and my professional CIPFA qualification (Chartered Institute for Public Finance & Accountancy). I had many roles across various teams and at the point of leaving in 2015 I was acting Director of Finance.
As a former apprentice myself, I am really proud and passionate to be the Executive Sponsor for our apprentices here at BCHG. Currently we have 7 apprentices, mainly based in our in-house repairs team Homeforce, however, through our People Strategy we plan to expand the number of apprentices across the business. I met with our apprentices and it was great to hear about their positive experiences, both in terms of the courses they are completing at college, as well as the hands on experience they are getting via their roles with BCHG. They are all hoping that once they have completed their apprenticeships, there will be permanent job opportunities here at BCHG which is fantastic! I can’t wait to meet up with them again to hear about how they are progressing and also if there is more that we as an employer can be doing to support them!'