As part of our case study series, we’ve been heading out to the businesses we work with and meeting the awesome apprentices and employers to talk about their journey with LDN Apprenticeships!
Our latest case study took us to specialist recruitment company X4 Group in the heart of London. We caught up with LDN Apprenticeships alumni Julia Alija, who is now a full-time member of the Finance team at X4 Group having finished her apprenticeship with us!
We’ve always had a fantastic relationship with X4 Group. Alongside Julia – we’ve placed apprentices within a variety of departments, from the IT Department to the Sales floor. So it was a great opportunity to get the thoughts of a company that has benefited so much from recruiting LDN Apprentices.
We were also able to catch up with Julia’s line-manager and Subsidiary Management Accountant – Claire McDonagh, who gave us an insight into the apprenticeship journey from an employer’s point of view. From the on-boarding process, right up to hiring Julia full-time after graduating from LDN Apprenticeships.
Why an apprenticeship?
First of all, Julia talked to us about her decision to become an apprentice. Why did she choose her route into the finance industry by doing an apprenticeship instead of heading to university?
“I knew I definitely wanted to go into finance and university wasn’t really for me,” said Julia.
“I definitely wanted the experience and the practicality of working and learning at the same time. So an apprenticeship seemed perfect!
“University was a consideration at one point. But after seeking advice from those within the finance industry, I thought an apprenticeship was definitely the right route for me.”
Having decided to get into the finance industry via an apprenticeship, we were able to help connect Julia with the fantastic team at X4 through our Career Kickstarter events.
Claire was able to meet and interview Julia for the role after seeing how well LDN Apprentice, Isaac Newton, was doing within the IT Department at X4.
“After the previous success we had with Isaac in the IT Department, we decided to recruit a Finance Apprentice,” said Claire.
“We are always looking for opportunities to expand the team and help young people start with us, learn the trade and work their way up within the company.”
Starting at X4 Group.
The finance department is crucial to any business. It involves not only a strict attention to detail, but a meticulous on-boarding process. Being able to learn the ropes quickly is imperative to hitting the ground running and being a success within the role.
So how did Julia get up to scratch within the finance department at X4?
“I already had a bit of experience studying finance so felt quietly confident!
“Most of all I was just I was extremely keen and motivated to learn and succeed within the role.
“I was given a number of jobs and important tasks early within the role. I had to learn quickly! Allocating payments, and chasing clients and invoices meant I had to be prepared from the first day!
Having now graduated from LDN Apprenticeships and since being hired full-time, what was it that Julia did within her role that made her 13 months as an apprentice at X4 such a success?
“Julia has been a really good asset to the team here at X4. She is always taking on new roles and looking to help in other areas of the team. Whilst this helps us as a business, it also helps her to develop her knowledge of finance as well.
“She has been really helpful in brining down debtors and with reconciliations as well. That’s quite difficult for someone to pick up without previous experience. On top of her main tasks, she has taken so much on board and is now such a crucial part of the team.
Receiving support throughout.
Whilst Julia managed to run with the opportunity that was given to her, she highlighted the support she received along the way from Claire and the team at X4. As well as the support from the office, Julia also mentioned her Learning and Development Specialist at LDN as a big part her success and completing the course.
“I’ve had so much support from not just Claire, but the whole team here at X4. They’re so motivated which in turn, drives me on within the role.
“The workshops and my LDS at LDN Apprenticeships have been so helpful as well.
Keeping me on track in completing my apprenticeship and supporting me during the busy last few months!”
Growing within the role.
Over the course of Julia’s 13 month apprenticeship, Claire was not only able to support and guide Julia throughout, but she was in a fantastic position to see her improve and grow within the role.
“I can see a lot more confidence in Julia since she started. She can show quite clearly in the space of a year how well she’s developed in her role.
“Her understanding now of how the finance department functions within a big business is just brilliant to see. She’s such a strong character and helps us within the team massively.”
Advice to those considering an apprenticeship.
As a full-time member of the X4 team, Julia has benefited massively from her apprenticeship. She has now come out of it starting her career with one of the biggest recruitment companies in London!
She will know more than anyone the benefits of becoming an apprentice. So what advice would she give to someone who is thinking of doing an apprenticeship?
“I’d say you have to be really motivated, enthusiastic and keen to learn. You also need to be prepared to wake up early! But definitely if you’re that person and you want to learn and work at the same time, an apprenticeship is for you!”
Thinking of hiring an apprentice?
One the other side, as Julia’s line-manager, Claire has now been able to bring in a fully-trained and loyal employee to her team. Having been in a position to introduce and train Julia up to her own, and the companies, values and standards, what would Claire’s advice be to employers looking to recruit an apprentice?
I’d definitely say it’s an amazing thing to do. I think we’d be really keen as a business to keep on hiring apprentices. It shows how successful it is as a scheme. As well as strengthening our team & bringing in more younger faces to the business, it’s just such a good thing to do.
Thank you to Claire, Julia and everyone at X4 Group for allowing us to come in and talk to them for the day! It’s always inspiring to see apprentices succeed and go on to gain a full-time role within the company they’re working for.
If you’re thinking of HIRING an apprentice with us, click on the link below to discover more!
If you’re thinking of BECOMING an apprentice, click on the link below and find out how!