At a time when few companies are recruiting, 17-year-old Winstanley College student, Tom Aspinall, has defied the odds to secure an apprenticeship with a national institution.
The former Haydock High pupil will shortly be heading to the iconic Threadneedle Street in London to begin his degree apprenticeship in data analytics and modelling with the Bank of England.
Tom who has been studying for A-levels in maths, further maths, economics and computer science decided early into college life that he wanted to go down the apprenticeship route.
Tom said: “For me there was the obvious benefit of having no student loans or debt whilst still getting a degree and also gaining work and life experience.”
After studying the bank in his economics class, Tom became curious about the opportunities it could offer and had a look at their website where he saw the apprenticeships advertised.
Tom said: “I discovered they had a range of degree apprenticeship courses available. I applied for the digital and technology solutions role as soon as I could and the bank immediately became my first choice.
“The recruitment process began with my initial application form, then, after a few weeks, I received an email saying that I had passed this stage and I was invited to take part in a recorded video interview. This felt like a very unnatural process for me as it amounted to me talking into a camera by myself and was the stage in the recruitment process when I felt the most anxiety by far.
“A few more weeks went by and I received an email informing me I would be invited to take part in a further assessment. Under normal circumstances this would involve me travelling down to Threadneedle Street, however due to the COVID-19 outbreak the assessment was held online.
“Exactly two weeks after my interview I received a call from the bank telling me that I had been successful in the assessment centre and I was filled with a mixture of relief and excitement, all my work throughout GCSEs and A-levels had paid off.
“I am looking forward to getting a good degree and pursuing a career in the capital.
“I would like to thank Winstanley for giving me the confidence, knowledge and aspiration to be able to pursue and achieve this opportunity, especially my teachers and personal tutor who supported me through whatever obstacles I faced”.
Tom is currently has been given a provisional start date of August pending government advice on working during the COVID-19 pandemic.