Radstock apprentice, you're hired!
A former A-level student from Radstock has secured a placement as an accountancy apprentice.
Accountancy firm Richardson Swift has taken on its first apprentice as growing numbers of school leavers shun university in favour of learning on the job.
Ellen Crozier, 18, joins the firm straight from Writhlington School in Radstock where she obtained A-levels in ICT, business studies and economics.
She starts work as Richardson Swift reports a rise in applications from A-level students seeking alternative employment routes to university.
Ellen will be working towards her Association of Accounting Technicians Level 4 Diploma with White Horse Training as part of her apprenticeship with Richardson Swift.
Richardson Swift has also recruited a new Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) trainee, Thomas Allen, to help meet the demands of an expanding practice.
Thomas, who is 21 and from Shepton Mallet, recently graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in maths.
Debbie Boulton, director of business services at Richardson Swift, said: "We are delighted to welcome Ellen and Thomas on board.
"I first met Ellen when she did work experience for me as a Year 10 student.
"Her skills and enthusiasm were so good that she then spent a further two summers working with me.
"We were very impressed by her commitment and determination to succeed in a career in accountancy."
She added: "We have seen an increase in applications from school leavers like Ellen who see the apprenticeship scheme as the best route to their chosen career.
"Learning on the job also offers a number of advantages to employers and ensures that the workforce of the future has the right skills for the job."