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Case Study


Hannah Fox is a Tax Apprentice at Price Bailey, an award-winning accountancy practice based in Cambridge. 

 What apprenticeship are you currently doing? 

I am currently doing a Level 4 Tax Accountant Apprenticeship, which I started in the summer of 2018, after my A-Levels.  

I work in Price Bailey’s Cambridge office during the week, assisting with work in lots of different areas of tax. As well as my work in the office, I am working towards my first qualification, so I travel to London for study days and am given paid study leave by my firm. I am due to finish my Level 4 apprenticeship in December 2020, when I will then move on to a Level 7 apprenticeship.

Why did you decide to apply for an apprenticeship?  

At A-level, I studied Maths, Chemistry and Psychology. I first thought about taking an apprenticeship when I was introduced to them during an assembly at college and immediately knew that was something I was interested in.  

I knew that I wasn’t interested in going to university, as the idea of debt didn’t appeal to me. Also, I knew that I was delaying getting my career started and I wouldn’t be exposed to a work environment. I felt that an apprenticeship was the best route for me.

Why did you choose Price Bailey? 

Price Bailey works closely with the college that I attended, The Oakes Sixth Form, so I had got an insight into life at Price Bailey and got to meet people that work here.  

When I was then applying for apprenticeships, Price Bailey was a firm that I was really interested in and could see myself working at. While I was at college I had done work experience at a small accountancy firm and didn’t enjoy the limited social side, so I knew that I wanted to work at a larger firm with more people to meet. As I live in Cambridge, Price Bailey having an office here was a big benefit as I wouldn’t have to commute far either.

Were you encouraged to consider an apprenticeship by anyone and did you receive any help in making your application?   

As I knew that I wanted to do an apprenticeship, I didn’t feel encouraged to consider one. However, my parents did support my decision and were very helpful in looking for opportunities for me. My teachers at The Oakes were also a big help with proof reading my application and CV. I did speak with the careers officer at college who first spoke with me about the different apprenticeships that were available in Cambridge.

What was the process of obtaining an apprenticeship? 

Firstly, I had to research what apprenticeships were out there and which ones I was interested in. As I had met with a few people from Price Bailey before applying, I had a good knowledge of the firm beforehand. After sending my CV to Price Bailey, I had one interview with them before I was offered the role. The overall process of applying and interview stage took roughly one month.

Can you describe a typical day in your apprenticeship?  

 A typical day for me involves doing lots of different projects in different areas of tax. I may spend a day doing lots of smaller projects, or could spend my time focusing on one bigger project. Even now, after being at work for a year, I still get to see new areas of tax that I haven’t worked in before. When doing my training and studying, I travel off-site to a training college in London. While I am there I get to meet new people who are doing the same apprenticeship as me.

Were you encouraged to consider an apprenticeship by anyone and did you receive any help in making your application?   

I have learnt from my apprenticeship that university isn’t the only option to getting into your chosen career. Also, I have learnt what it is like in the world of work and have picked up new technical skills and experience of working with clients.   

Before I started my apprenticeship, I had a very basic understanding of tax. Through the apprenticeship, I have gained new technical knowledge and skills in tax and also other areas of accountancy. My studying has helped me in my work in the office and I have definitely seen an improvement in my own confidence and knowledge.  

I am thoroughly enjoying working towards my qualification and also I am enjoying the lifestyle that working has given me. I was really interested in becoming an Apprentice Ambassador so that I can tell people about all the opportunities out there and to show that university is not the only option. I would love to be able to help others find apprenticeships that are suited to them so they can get into their chosen career. 

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