Apprenticeship Ambassador, Bethany Duffy of Grant Thornton LLP has backed John Stevenson MP’s 10th Anniversary Carlisle Fair.
Bethany explains, “Back in 2018 I was walking around Carlisle Skills Fair with my mum knowing I had an interest in the accountancy sector but not much more than that. I was academic at school and it was therefore expected that I would go to University. I was told I would be missing out on the “Uni experience” and a degree, so had to often justify why I didn’t feel it was right for me. After gathering lots of information and handouts from various stands at the Carlisle Skills Fair, we were completing our final lap of the hall when my mum spotted a Grant Thornton UK LLP stand in the corner. We started talking to a gentleman on the stand and I immediately felt like this was a firm that cared about its people, offered exciting work opportunities, and would support me through my qualifications.
Grant Thornton is one of the largest professional services firms in the UK delivering audit, tax and advisory services to a wide variety of clients in over 140 countries. Within the UK it employs over 5,000 people who operate from 27 offices and are led by over 200 partners. The prospect of working for such a large firm excited me but I didn’t want to move away from home and didn’t think they would have an office in Carlisle… that is until they confirmed they did!
In August 2018 I started my career at Grant Thornton in the Carlisle office in Public Sector Audit on the School Leaver Programme. Fast forward over 5 years and I have completed my AAT qualification and my ACA qualification making me a qualified Chartered Accountant (having been paid a competitive salary throughout and with no student debt!); worked as part of a team to deliver numerous years of Public Sector Audit work giving me a detailed insight in to the operations of both NHS and Local Government entities in our local area and nationwide; and completed a secondment to the Digital Audit Team where I have learnt to code, developed several apps which are used widely within the firm and established the digital champion network within Public Sector Audit.
Now, as an Apprenticeship Ambassador, I want to share my apprenticeship journey with others through attending careers fairs, delivering school assemblies and contributing to magazine articles. In addition, I am involved in various volunteer initiatives, such as the School Enterprise Programme set up to encourage students to engage with business and finance and One Million Mentors with the aim of increasing youth employability and helping break down social barriers.
In recognition of my work, I was awarded PQ of the Year at the 2020 PQ Awards and North West Apprentice of the Year at the 2022 National Apprentice Awards. These are achievements I am very proud of and they inspire me to continue to promote both the accountancy profession and the apprenticeship pathway to others.
Looking back, joining Grant Thornton was one of the best decisions I have ever made and for that I have John Stevenson and the Carlisle Skills Fair to thank!
I will be there at the 10th anniversary skills fair on 25th January 2024 at Carlisle College, and would encourage young people and job seekers in the area to save the date and come along. You never know what opportunities there are for you until you go along and see.”