Home / News & events / Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023 | Unlocking Potential blog by Dylan Austin

Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023 | Unlocking Potential blog by Dylan Austin

Posted: March 8, 2023

This week is Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2023, a campaign showcasing how apprenticeships are unlocking potential in people and businesses.

Apprenticeships allow people from diverse backgrounds and abilities to gain and develop skills. These skills will support individuals throughout their life and in work.

In this blog post we hear from Dylan Austin, Hillcrest Homes finance assistant trainee, as he reflects on his recent win of Hillcrest’s Young Employee of the Year award.

Winning the Young Employee of the Year award

I was overwhelmed to win the Young Employee of the Year award as I felt I was just doing my job and didn’t expect to be recognised for this.

I started with Hillcrest in January 2022 as a finance apprentice. I started my Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) training at the end of January 2022, completing it earlier this year.

Whilst at school I had a keen interest in maths and this prompted me to look for a college course or job in this field to continue my learning. After leaving school I thought I wanted to go to college but after searching the internet I found an apprenticeship in a career that I wanted to do which gave me the option to do my AAT qualification.

My experience so far

I have found the experience of being an apprentice at Hillcrest very positive as although I am an apprentice, I am treated the same as any other member of the finance team.

Hillcrest supported my learning by allowing me to study for my AAT two afternoons a week, as I felt more productive studying within the working environment. My close colleagues have been very supportive with my learning.

Hillcrest is invested in their young workforce and I have had many opportunities to develop my skills and am an active member of Hillcrest’s Young Person’s Voice working group.

Looking ahead

After completing my qualification a vacancy arose for a full time role within the finance team at Hillcrest. My manager approached me to consider applying for the opportunity, and I considered this and applied.

As a recently qualified apprentice, Hillcrest has resources to support apprentices with their professional development which I took on-board. This involved coaching and mentoring through the application and interview process.

I was delighted to be interviewed and then successful for the role. I start my new role as a finance assistant in early April.

#ScotAppWeek23 #UnlockingPotential

Main photo: Dylan is pictured with Lesley Don, Hillcrest’s director of corporate services