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Matt Nicholls gained part-time work experience with an accountancy firm while he was completing a Level 2 AAT Foundation Certificate in Accounting course at Eastleigh College. It whet his appetite for accounting. He joined the firm as a Level 3 apprentice, and is now well on his way to completing a Level 4 qualification. 

“I didn’t really know what job I wanted when I left school. I got mainly grades A and B in my GCSEs and wanted to stay fairly local to home so considered both Barton Peveril and Eastleigh College.

“I deciding on the course at Eastleigh as it kept my options open. I enjoy football as a hobby and would ultimately love a job on the commercial side of the football industry.

“I did some part-time work at Arlington Accountants while I was studying and so approached them to consider taking me on as a Level 3 apprentice, which they were happy to do. It’s a good way for employers to take on new staff who don’t cost as much as a regular employee, and can train very much in line with the business’s culture.

“As well as getting paid, an apprenticeship gives you such a good grounding in the industry. The qualification is made up of several core and optional units. My employer influenced the units I did as my current job focuses on tax – both business and personal – but there is a lot of flexibility.


Just do what interests you. If you enjoy what you do, you'll find the right job at the end of it."


“College is more laid-back than school – you can see the relevance of the things you learn in your job so it makes it all worthwhile. You’re not just learning things for the sake of it.

“I’d definitely recommend an apprenticeship as a good way to learn. Looking back, I wish I’d done one straight from school, but I didn’t see it as an option back then.”