Exam results are only part of the picture says local employer

Exam results are only part of the picture says local employer

As 16 and 18 year olds across the Harborough region wait for their exam results, the owner of a Harborough accountancy firm has a positive message for those who may not achieve the results they were hoping for.

“A great set of academic results is all very well, but for me as an employer, there are other equally important qualities,” comments Carl Elsby, co-owner and founder of chartered accountants Elsby & Co (www.elsbyandco.co.uk) who are based at the Innovation Centre. “What matters most to me when I’m recruiting is a person’s potential; that they share our ethos and have a willingness to learn.”

Carl is speaking from experience having left school in 1984 with, in his own words, “just three dodgy O levels and no prospects”. He fell into accountancy by “happy accident”, working through a BTEC and foundation course rather than the traditional A level and degree route. Fully qualified at the age of 22, Carl was the youngest qualified accountant of his generation – and also one of the most poorly qualified.

However, despite these humble beginnings, Carl now runs a successful accountancy practice which employs 24 staff and is due to also take on an apprentice in the autumn. The practice, which has three partners, 850 clients and an annual turnover of more than £1.2m, is also expected to grow by 20% over the next year.

“I would urge anyone who is disappointed by their exam results to continue pursuing their chosen career as there may be more than one route to getting the job that they want,” adds Carl. “I’m a firm believer that having the right attitude combined with perseverance can take someone far in life. For example, apprenticeships are a great way for young people to make their mark in a practical way and to get some useful training on the job.”

Elsby & Co are using local apprenticeship recruitment specialists Salad Skills to recruit their apprentice. Director Sarah Cripps explains that apprenticeships can be a valuable route into employment. “Not everyone wants to continue their studies to A level or degree standard, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have aptitude and ambition,” she comments. “We meet many young people from the area who have a lot to offer potential employers so we would urge people not going onto higher education to give apprenticeships serious consideration.”

Carl set up Elsby & Co in 1993 with his wife Clare after being made redundant from a national accountancy firm. Originally based in a back bedroom, the company now has premises in Market Harborough and Northamptonshire as well as a joint venture operating in Milton Keynes.

For more information on Elsby & Co and the services they offer, visit www.elsbyandco.co.uk or contact 01604 678 470.

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