Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022

The Real Apprentice

To celebrate Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2022 we had a chat with our very own apprentice Logan Brydon.

He joined us last year through the Robert Gordon University (RGU) Graduate Apprenticeship in BA (Hons) Accounting, an accredited work-based learning programme combining an honours degree from RGU with the globally recognised Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) Chartered Accountant qualification.

Name – Logan Brydon

Age – 18

How long have you worked at Thomson Cooper? 7 months.

How did you hear about the apprenticeship? From an advert on Facebook.

What were you doing before joining Thomson Cooper?

I was in sixth year at Beath High and had a place at The University of Edinburgh on their MA Accounting and Business course. However, when I saw the apprenticeship and I thought it was a really good opportunity to earn, study for an honours degree in accounting and sit the ICAS CA qualification all at the same time. I finished high school in July 2021 and started my apprenticeship in the August.

What have been the biggest challenges so far?

The change from being a high school pupil going straight into full time office work was a culture shock to begin with, especially with all the Covid restrictions. It has got easier though. I work and study at the same time and have sat two university exams so far, as part of my undergraduate studies.

What have been the benefits?

Getting the opportunity to build my knowledge and skills in a structured way. I’ve been concentrating on bookkeeping and VAT within the Outsourcing department and can ask any of my experienced colleagues if I need help with anything.

I didn’t drive when I started but have passed my test and now drive myself to work. I think working has given me the confidence to push myself more.

What plans do you have for the future?

My Graduate Apprenticeship in BA (Hons) Accounting is run by Robert Gordons University in Aberdeen. Once a term I go there with around 40 or 50 fellow students from all over the country. There is a real mix of ages and backgrounds.

It runs for 5 years and, all things going to plan, I should finish with a BA (Hons) Accounting and will have passed the ICAS CA qualification and be a fully qualified Charted Accountant. This means I will be a fully qualified accountant at least two years ahead of students who choose the more traditional route of university then professional exams. It’s a serious commitment but I feel that I’ll be in a stronger position taking the apprenticeship route than going to university, especially as I’m gaining relevant knowledge and my required practical experience  as I study.

The course has been specially designed between the university and ICAS and in the fourth and fifth years we focus on the ICAS tests of Professional Skills. By this point I’ll have three years’ experience behind me plus a support network in the office to help with these rigorous tests.

Students need to attain a minimum of 50% in every exam from first year onwards (most other university courses require only 40% for a pass) as well as completing work-based assignments and course work. Although I’m working full-time hours I have seven hours per week within office hours to do work-based assignments which is a big help.

Think this is something you would like to apply for?

Keep an eye on our vacancy page.

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Our Careers in Focus series continues with Malcolm McCrindle, one of our graduate trainees working in the audit team. As a mature student, Malcolm chose to change his career path and is now working towards becoming a professionally qualified accountant.

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