“You’re hired” is a phrase associated with the nail-biting finale of The Apprentice on BBC1. Here at The Accountancy People it’s a phrase James used to make one of his soundest decisions since creating the company when he said it to our very own apprentice Joe Finn.
Unlike many Apprentice wannabes on television, Joe is calm, unflappable, knows his stuff, has oodles of common sense and is determined to learn as much as he can. He’s also very clear-sighted and able to think beyond the standard approach to things – as demonstrated by the way he arrived at The Accountancy People.
“I’d done well in my GCSEs and was at Aquinas College in Stockport doing science and maths A levels, gearing up for University,” explains Joe. “But one year in I wasn’t enjoying it – it still felt like school and I was bored. So I started looking around the internet to find out what other options there were.”
He discovered Modern Apprenticeships.
“They were getting a poor press but it was obvious that if you could find the right one, it was a very cost-effective way to learn – and that appealed a lot more than going to University, coming out with £50,000 of debt and then needing to start in-job training,” says Joe with a big smile on his face.
His mum, Julie, was encouraging. “She trusted me to do the research and just asked me to be certain that I was fully committed to sticking to the apprenticeship. She’s as happy as I am with how things have turned out. My grandparents, Brenda and Jim, were impressed by my initiative too.”
Joe used the Government website to find a training provider who contacted The Accountancy People to see if they were willing to take on an apprentice. James interviewed the candidates and chose Joe. “It was an easy decision,” says James. “Joe is ambitious, determined, shows initiative and applies himself to the work and study – that’s why he’s on course to be a fully Chartered Accountant as his contemporaries complete their degree courses.”
Joe is used to succeeding. At secondary school he was tall for his age which took him into basketball. His best friend’s father was a basketball coach and Joe’s characteristic combination of aptitude and application – he trained five or six times a week – meant he played for Manchester. With his team, he won two national championships in 2013 & 2014. “We travelled all over the country to compete – it was great fun and I’m still in touch with some of them.”
These days, when he isn’t busy working or studying, Joe likes to spend his spare time and earnings out with his girlfriend, Kianat. It’s a very modern romance. “We met through Facebook,” says Joe. “It was five months before we met in person – but we’ve been together for 16 months now.” Joe clearly has a good balance in his life – long may it continue.