Meet: Kel Robertson

Meet Kel Robertson, a Level 3 Assistant Accountant (Standard) apprentice, who was one of the first apprentices on the new programme at Oaklands College to achieve a Distinction.

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Meet Kel Robertson, a Level 3 Assistant Accountant (Standard) apprentice, who was one of the first apprentices on the new programme at Oaklands College to achieve a Distinction. 

Kel Robertson attended Oaklands College in 2016 to initially study A Level Mathematics, with the aim to go to apply for University. 

After achieving his A Level Maths, Kel decided that he wanted to pursue an education which would also provide him with the work-based skills and experience, whilst also achieving a salary. 

“I saw the Accountancy vacancy with the St Albans District Council and decided that it was a fantastic opportunity for me to build my skills whilst earning, it was an intense apprenticeship where I studied 1 day a week at Oaklands College and worked the remainder of the week within the industry.” 

Much like many other apprentices, it was the opportunity to earn a salary whilst developing industry-standard skills and experience which appealed most to Kel. 

“There was no additional pressure from my employers and they understood that I required time to also study and revise for my digital exams and written modules, the encouragement I received from my employers was incredible and helped make the whole experience a better one.

After a year studying my apprenticeship my salary increased, it was a great feeling to see the progression whilst studying for my qualifications.”

With all apprenticeship students, support is provided by mentors within their work placement and lecturers during their education at college, we asked Kel how the experience was for him.

“It was really beneficial to have a mentor, as well as my course lecturer at college, my mentor helped me integrate into the work environment and was so impressed with how quickly I progressed, she recognised my success and encouraged me in everything that I achieved, the support was great.” 

Having recently completed his first EPA for Accounting and passing with Distinction, Kel cited the support and work environment as a key factor towards completing his course. 

“The best thing about my job is how independent it is, whilst having the support from my peers as and when I need it. The apprenticeship programme has opened up doors for me that I never knew existing and I am really grateful for the opportunities. I’ve been able to pursue other passions whilst working such as travelling with the money I earn on the apprenticeship programme and I am heading to New Zealand, which I couldn’t do without this programme.”

With a new set of students enrolling onto the apprenticeship programme at Oaklands College, looking to follow in the successful footsteps of Kel, we asked what advice he would have for upcoming apprentices: 

“My best piece of advice would be to respect and listen to your tutors, they are industry experts who have worked within the industry so their understanding and transferable skills to students are great, the courses are taught in basic language for everyone to understand and I would wholeheartedly recommend the apprenticeship programme, it will give you the experience and knowledge of how to conduct yourself within a work environment and really make a difference to your career.” 

Since finishing his Apprenticeship at Oaklands College with a Distinction, Kel now works full-time as a Finance Officer and Purchase Ledger for St Albans District Council where he now mentors the next Oaklands College Accountancy Apprentice looking to follow in his footsteps! 

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