A Shrewsbury woman has credited the AAT accounting courses at Shrewsbury Colleges Group for turning her life around.

Accounting student sitting at desk

Emma Clarke, aged 45, is registered disabled and didn’t work for many years, which caused her self-esteem to take a dive.

But three years ago, Emma took the brave step of enrolling on an accounting course at Shrewsbury Colleges Group. She has now completed her Level 2, 3 and 4 Accounting qualifications and has just been accepted as a full member of the professional body the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

Emma said: “A friend wanted to do the course and dragged me along to get me out of the house. Initially, I signed up for something to get my brain working again but I enjoyed the course so much that I wanted to continue learning.

“College has been great for me to meet new people and to improve my confidence. They also went over and above to make sure I was happy with my disability and during Covid. I was given my own room for my final exams. I completed my final 3 exams over 3 weeks so I could still complete the course on time.”

Emma, who is ‘thrilled’ to have been accepted as MAAT (full member of the AAT) said it “proved hard work was rewarded.”

Emma has been working at Aspire Accountancy and Bookkeeping Ltd based in Shrewsbury since 2018.

Director at Aspire, Suzanne-Marie Campbell FMAAT, said: “Emma started off as a Bookkeeper for a client, in-house, one day a week as she was then partway through her Level 2 qualification. She carried this out alongside her studies.

“Emma's attention to detail meant she was obviously perfect for the role. Immediately I saw great potential in her and was very pleased when she said she intended to continue with her studies with a goal of completing Levels 3 and 4.

“She brings a great deal to the business. She has fantastic people skills and is a pleasure to work with.

“It's difficult to consider that Emma is now the same person I met back in 2018. She is confident and cheerful and I very much hope she continues her career with us here at Aspire Accountancy.”

Next month the Level 2 Certificates in Bookkeeping will begin, and in September, a range of accounting and bookkeeping courses from levels 2-4 will begin.

Accounting teacher Nicola Perry, said: “The Level 2 course which starts in February is ideal for learners with no experience who are looking for new skills to improve their chances of employment or increase their skills for running their own business. Just right for the current environment.

“These courses can be lifechanging for people, as Emma has shown. Three years ago, she was finding life hard and often was at home all day in her PJ’s after getting the kids to school. Adult education really turned her life around.

“In fact, 100% of students who studied one of AAT accounting or bookkeeping courses last year said they would recommend the course when surveyed as part of our student satisfaction survey.

The Level 2 Certificate in Bookkeeping and Level 2 Award in Accounting Software are both due to start week commencing 22 February. All students will have the opportunity to progress through the levels via part-time study or an Apprenticeship.

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