From Kickstarter to homeowner in two years!
This is Eleanor’s account of her experience working for Triple Bottom Line Accounting.
“It was the new year of 2021. I was 18 years old, and all my classmates from college were off at university. I’d earned a distinction in a Performing Arts, Level 3 Extended Diploma, at City College, Norwich. Still, I didn’t enjoy it enough to take it further. So, unemployed, and unsure of what to do, I felt left behind. I was prepared for a change, but I was still determining which university degree would suit me.
On one of many quarantine days at home, I discovered a ‘Kickstart’ job advert for a trainee accountant position with Triple Bottom Line Accounting in Norwich. The Kickstart Scheme was a government scheme set up during the Covid-19 pandemic to help unemployed 16–24-year-olds into jobs. This opportunity was exactly what I was looking for. It was something entirely new for me – but why not give it a go?
Triple Bottom Line Accounting was looking for a trainee willing to learn on the job, and I was looking for a job that could give me real-life experience. We were a perfect match. My application was successful, and the company offered to fund my first-ever accounting qualification. The next thing I knew, I was thoroughly enjoying my studies and working for an accountancy practice with a genuine drive for sustainability. Even now, looking back, I’m amazed it all happened. I always thought I was no good with numbers! So, at the end of the 6 months, I completed my Level 2 AAT qualification and wanted to keep going. Equally, TBLA was pleased with my progress, so they offered me a full-time contract as an apprentice.
So today, I have been at TBLA for 2 years. Last year, I completed a Level 3 AAT qualification and passed all 6 exams on my Level 3 apprenticeship. This year, I am doing a Level 4 apprenticeship, equivalent to a foundation degree in accounting.
Triple Bottom Line Accounting is a living wage employer, which has meant that in the last 2 years, I have been able to save for a deposit for my first home. I would never have dreamed of being a homeowner with a mortgage at 20 years old, and it’s all been possible while doing an apprenticeship with TBLA. No longer feeling left behind by my friends, I am proud to be learning and earning.”
TBLA HR and Sustainability manager Fran Ellington says, “El joined us as an 18-year-old college leaver and had to adapt to training online due to the lockdowns. Her inherent professionalism when communicating with new clients and ability to learn new skills quickly shone through. She has excelled in all her AAT exams and is a joy to work with.”
Fran joined TBLA in 2019 after a long career in teaching. Her roles include human resources management, ESG and Marketing. During 2020 and 2021 she developed the TBLA Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impact service. As part of the process, she has carried out an impact analysis of the TBLA social and governance profile and a whole company carbon calculation with accompanying target setting, carbon reduction action plan and impact narrative. Fran is now working alongside the growing ESG team to help more SMEs plan for Net Zero around the UK. Fran is also on the board of the Norwich Business Climate Leaders hoping to accelerate the transition to Net Zero.