Apprenticeship schemes are a much better option than university, if you want to land a top job in finance.

Radha Kaur, 20, from Acocks Green in Birmingham, is delighted that she chose to learn, work, and earn through accountancy apprenticeship scheme, Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB), instead of racking up a huge debt at university.

After successfully completing a course in childcare at South and City College Birmingham, she knew local job opportunities were limited, so she opted to enrol on the LTSB course.

The pioneering programme helps young disadvantaged people secure top jobs with blue chip companies in the financial sector. The programme’s graduation event in London in May 2017 celebrated Radha’s recognition as LTSB Birmingham Apprentice of the Year, with a prize of a once in a lifetime trip to New York City this summer.

Now working as an Associate at Deloitte in the centre of Birmingham, Radha wants to encourage other young people to follow suit and consider joining an apprenticeship scheme.

She said: “LTSB is a better option than university. I wasn’t sure if I was going to join the scheme but I’m so happy I did because I wouldn’t be at Deloitte without LTSB – the programme has increased my confidence 100% and I’ve become a lot more independent.

“I was so surprised to win the trip to New York! It’s an amazing reward – I’ve just passed my exams, I’m really settling in to work where I’m extremely busy, so it will be nice to have a bit of a break.

“I’m at Deloitte, learning, working and earning. If I was at university I could be learning but you don’t have much time to get part-time work due to the long hours. Also moving away from home is expensive and on top of that the average student debt is £44,000.

“At first I found the transition from school to work difficult. I didn’t really know what to do or what to say and I was worried about asking questions as I didn’t want to pester anyone but the guys at Deloitte are really nice and they helped me settle in.

“I commute an hour to get to the office in the centre of Birmingham but it’s not about how far I travel – it’s how far I’ve come!

“There aren’t a lot of job opportunities in Acocks Green and when I initially got offered to start on LTSB’s programme I wasn’t sure about everything but I’m so glad I went for it.”

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