Osprey is proud to join our parent company tpgroup in celebrating National Apprenticeship Week. We are passionate about giving our apprentices the very best foundation for their career and building future talent.
Meet Connel Jones, our Finance Apprentice who is studying to gain his AAT Level 3 qualification whilst being involved in all aspects of Finance for Osprey.
Describe your role and responsibilities
My main role is to support all aspects of Finance including day-to-day accounting tasks, credit control, purchase orders, raising invoices and communicating with our suppliers to ensure that our invoices are paid promptly. Over time, I’ve been given increased responsibility with management accounting tasks, and have been shadowing Osprey’s Finance Director who’s guiding me through the end of month accounts and various reporting requirements. I joined shortly after Osprey was acquired by tpgroup, which was a really exciting time and I’ve enjoyed being involved in some of the Finance integration activities.
What’s it like being an apprentice at Osprey?
I’m really glad I chose the apprenticeship route as I’m constantly working towards my end goal in achieving my AAT qualification. The Osprey team made me feel really welcome right from the start and are always willing to offer support and guidance. I joined during the pandemic so I’ve only ever met the majority of the team virtually – I’m hoping this will change as restrictions are reduced.
Working directly with Osprey’s Finance Director is a huge plus for me as I’ve had excellent guidance and supervision which I would have been unlikely to get in a larger company. I’ve also learnt how fascinating the aviation industry is! Our Project Managers will often talk about the work they are delivering so I understand the context behind the invoices I am raising.
How does the apprentice scheme work?
The scheme is for 18 -months with the majority of the assessment through exams, but I am also compiling a portfolio of experience to demonstrate my development, including interpersonal skills.
I feel really supported by Osprey as I have daily contact with the Finance Director, as well as a mentoring session at least once a week. This really aids my learning and gives me the knowledge to carry out my role and the confidence to take on additional responsibilities.
What route did you take to becoming an apprentice?
After graduating, I worked for Lynx Golf in Weybridge as an Operations Assistant. During the initial lockdown, I reconsidered my career path – deciding to kick start my finance and accountancy career.
What are your career ambitions and what do you enjoy outside of work?
In the short term, I’m committed to completing my AAT course, but my ambition is to become a Chartered Accountant and become fully qualified. Outside of work, I’m passionate about golf but haven’t been able to play very often due to the pandemic. Instead, I decided to take up running and I’m aiming to run my first half marathon over the summer.
What advice would you give to others thinking of taking this path?
I would advise individuals of any age to consider an apprenticeship as there are so many choices and career paths to choose from. Typically, the courses on offer are for a set period of time with a recognised qualification at the end. I think that Accountancy is a particularly good option as there is a structured career path to follow. If you can get your foot on the ladder with an apprenticeship, then you can build on your career from there – it really does give you an edge!