Mark Chilver, Training Advisor at Northern Skills Group, is helping learners in the North East establish a career in finance.
Delivering the nationally recognised AAT Accountancy Apprenticeship since 1993, Mark has a wealth of experience and knowledge in AAT training.
And his passion for mathematics and teaching has helped him reach a milestone of training over 1000 apprentices.
“I graduated from Sheffield City Polytechnic in Applied Statistics in 1992 and started teaching a year later, initially just one class a week.
I soon discovered teaching was my passion and gradually built-up my hours to then be asked to join the Northern Skills Group, known as North East Chamber of Commerce at the time, in a full time role.”
Mark mainly teaches the Level 3 AAT Apprenticeship programme in Newcastle, supporting apprentices who may have some experience in accountancy but are keen to progress further.
“I’m very mathematical so this is the perfect job for me, I really enjoy supporting my learners and helping them achieve. In my years of teaching I have seen many apprentices progress to higher positions including chartered accountants and company owners who come back to us to train their own staff.”
Not only has Mark helped many apprentices kick-start their career, he has also gained a lot from them too:
“I’ve gained so much experience and industry knowledge from my students, understanding their experiences and helping them solve real-life practical challenges they face in the workplace.
Every class sparks a new idea on how to teach a particular module or change how I present a certain problem, I am always learning.
The learners are all so talented, I’ve submitted a number of groups to enter the World Skills accountancy competition with seven groups making it to national finals.”
Throughout his years of teaching it is estimated Mark has taught over 1000 students, all from varying backgrounds and abilities. He’s also seen many changes in the industry:
“Accountancy is a lot more computer based than it used to be, it had previously been mainly hand written but the software now available is phenomenal.
The challenge however with such software is being able to correctly interpret the reports and that’s what we teach on the programme, not only how to use the software but also how to understand and advise clients on the results.
Apprenticeship standards are also updated every few years so you need to be able to adapt to the new modules quickly, it’s forever growing and moving forward with the times which can be a challenge but is what is needed in the industry.”
If teaching doesn’t keep Mark busy enough, he also supports many charities and recently completed a head shave for North East based charity “4 Louis”.
“I actually completed the challenge to support one of my former apprentices and a charity that was close to their heart, having my hair dyed different colours each week with the head shave finale.”
The AAT Level 3 Accountancy Apprenticeship is delivered by Northern Skills Group throughout the North East, delivering classes on a regular basis that are flexible to business needed. Delivering both classes and on-site training for organisations who are keen to train large groups, meaning minimum disruption to the business.
*Photograph taken pre-Covid.