A BORDESLEY GREEN trainee accountant has won an all-expenses paid trip to Paris after being named Birmingham’s Apprentice of the Year by social mobility charity, Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB).
Rahil Mahmood, 19, was presented with the award by the Lord Mayor of London, Charles Bowman, and LTSB Chairman, David Pinchin, in a graduation ceremony held at Mansion House, London also attended by friends and relatives.
Delighted Rahil said:”I feel privileged and quite honoured to win the award given the ability and potential of all the other candidates in the cohort.
“I never dreamed I was capable of winning this or being where I am today.”
Rahil says his life was transformed when he was encouraged to join the apprenticeship scheme, Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB).
The pioneering programme, which helps young disadvantaged people secure top jobs in business and finance with blue chip companies, helped Rahil land an apprenticeship after he dropped out of college without a plan on what to do next.
Now having landed a dream job at one of the world’s leading car manufactures, Rolls Royce, Rahil wants to encourage other youngsters to follow suit as he feels schools should offer an alternative to university.
He said: “Without doubt I would encourage any student to go for an apprenticeship because it means you are not saddled with a huge debt coming out of university.
“In an apprenticeship you can gain excellent on the job training and valuable work experience.”
The initiative – supported by the Aston Villa Foundation – provides an alternative to university by offering a clear career pathway for 16 – 21-year olds interested in a career in finance.
LTSB encourages the development of leadership skills by arranging for apprentices to lead coaching sessions at the Aston Villa Foundation, which was a personal highlight for Rahil.
He added:“I led a session with a bunch of people that I had never met before, it forced me to quickly build rapport and learn to lead.
“Not only was it something that I enjoyed it was also something that benefitted me.”
In light of the apprentice levy that reduced the amount of apprenticeship opportunities, the responsibility to create career pathways for school-leavers has fallen to initiatives like LTSB.
At the graduation ceremony on Monday the Lord Mayor of London acknowledged the ‘importance of empowering the next generation.’
He worked for accountancy firm PwC for 30 years, believes accountancy is a “brilliant qualification” and pointed out that one-in-five FTSE 100 CEO’s have a qualification in accountancy.
LTSB Chairman, David Pinchin, praised Rahil and the rest of the cohort for graduating a programme that transforms “sleepy school leavers to workers ready to hit the ground running.”
Pinchin launched LTSB in 2011 after a successful career in the city where he co-founded brokers Tradition Financial Services in 1985.
He said: “I am deeply moved and inspired by what we have achieved over the last six years and am looking forward to the next six with great excitement. Our outcomes and impact have been extremely positive and dramatic in many cases. We have over 60 employers but can never have too many.”
If you or someone you know is aged 16-21 and hungry for a career in business and finance with a major firm, but don’t have the social capital to find success on your own, then LTSB wants to meet you. For more info, email [email protected] or visit https://www.leadershipthroughsport.org/join-the-programme/ and apply now!