Avonside Inaugural Apprentice of the Year Awards

Published on 25th May 2017
Apprentice Jamie Barry and Avonside Group MD Tony Burke

Avonside are proud to announce that Jamie Barry was recently awarded Apprentice of the Year 2016 by Avonside’s Managing Director Tony Burke. With this, comes a trophy to recognise his achievement, Jamie’s name on the official Apprentice of the Year plaque and a £250 voucher of his choice.

Jamie commented: “I am grateful and extremely happy to have my efforts recognised by our Managing Director. Avonside have supported me as an apprentice from Day 1! They have given me the ability and backing required to attend college once a week, to further study and gain the qualifications necessary for me to advance my career. I am grateful for the award, and have spent the prize on a very enjoyable getaway for myself and my partner”.

Tony Burke, Group Managing Director commented: “Jamie has really risen to the challenge during his time with Avonside, he has demonstrated all the key qualities we look for; diligence, integrity and a strong work ethic and this is further supported by his friendly manner and determination to deliver first class outputs. He has been a credit to himself”.

Jamie joined Avonside in September 2015. When he came to us he’d completed a level 2 AAT and due to personal circumstances, he had to defer his studies and find immediate employment. Jamie worked for his local council’s environment department as a refuse collector. In august of 2015 Avonside Group wanted to increase the number of professional career path apprentices. Advertising for an apprentice accountant and recruiting Jamie in the September of that year. When interviewed, it was immediately apparent that Jamie was driven towards his goal of a professional qualification and just needed to be given the opportunity to prove himself.

Within weeks of beginning his employment, Jamie was enrolled on to a level 3 AAT advanced Diploma course at his local college sacrificing two evenings a week to attend. Jamie passed all of his module exams with ease and began his level 4 AAT professional Diploma in September 2016.

He has developed excellent working relationships with colleagues within his own department and with across the country within other branches. Jamie easily adapted to an office environment having come from a polar opposite role.

It was clear from his first few months at Avonside that Jamie was keen to progress as he would complete tasks easily with minimal supervision, looking to take on tasks that would stretch his knowledge, always willing to “have a go” even when he’s never done something before.

Within 12 months he has gone from an administrative function to a key support to the Group Head Office management accountants, assisting in handling the accounts for 30 branches across the group.

Sharon Millington, Management Accountant and Jamie’s mentor, commented: “Jamie has proven himself to be a real asset to the department, completing tasks with minimal supervision in a timely manner. His natural ability and enthusiasm has enabled us to pass on more tasks than we ever anticipated being able to with the role at this stage.”

Jamie is set to complete his level 4 AAT in June/July next year.