Darren Sykes – Student awarded free distance learning with Premier Training

Earlier this year, Premier Training offered one lucky student the chance to study the AAT Accounting Qualification for free through a sponsorship programme.

The sponsorship programme was designed to increase opportunities for those looking to gain a professional qualification, but who faced significant barriers.

It was open to anyone over the age of 16 and no previous work experience was required.

Premier Training Centre Manager, Jane Hasler, said:

“We were so impressed with the quality of applicants that we decided to offer three prizes instead of one. The students have been looking for an opportunity to establish some form of career in the finance sector and now have the chance to do so.”

“For years Darren had to put his career on hold but now with the help of our sponsorship he can once more pursue his dream and create a better future for himself and his family.”

Darren’s story

The first prize was awarded to 36 year old Darren Sykes, who gave up his job and his studies in order to care for his wife.

Now with the support from Premier Training, Darren can work towards his goal of completing the AAT qualification – to kick-start a rewarding career within the accounting and finance world.

Darren said:

“I’m absolutely thrilled to be given this opportunity to study all levels of AAT. Due to personal commitments I have had to put my dream to complete the AAT qualification on hold but thanks to Premier Training I can now continue my studies.”

“I plan to study as hard and as quickly as I can and then hopefully use the qualification to obtain a job in accountancy and also continue my studies to become a chartered accountant and run my own business.”

The prizes

As part of his prize, Darren will receive:

  • Free access to study materials, training resources, tutor support and examinations – including resits
  • Free AAT annual membership
  • A free iPad Air to access study materials and assignments online
  • A free 90-minute session with AAT’s official Career Coach, Aimee Bateman – covering CV writing tips, interview skills and how to use using social media when looking for a job.

The winning students were:

  • 1st Prize (AAT Accounting Technician Qualification, Levels 2-4) – Darren Sykes
  • 1st Runner up (AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting) – Lhathini Pushpalingham
  • 2nd Runner up (AAT Level 4 Diploma in Accounting) – Portia Ann Dobinson