A TEENAGER from Berkeley is one of just 18 young people to be selected from 300 applicants for an accountancy scholarship worth £15,000

Each year, Kaplan awards school and college leavers from across the UK accountancy scholarships to study for an accountancy apprenticeship followed by the chance to carry out further professional accountancy qualifications.

Eighteen-year-old Ben Lawrence who lives in Woodford succeeded at each stage of the selection process by impressing the panel of interviewers with his passion for numbers, ability to solve problems and desire to work in an accountancy-related field.

With the rate of youth unemployment so high, the SGS College A-level student has a rare opportunity to get his foot on the career ladder early, and without incurring thousands of pounds of debt.

"I'm thrilled to have been selected for the accountancy scholarship,” he said.

“Once I had made up my mind to become an accountant I became worried about the huge amount of debt I would come out with after studying.

“Winning the scholarship is such a huge weight off my shoulders and now I can't wait to begin my apprenticeship and start earning money."

Ben's A-level accounting teacher at SGS College in Bristol, Richard Green, said the college was proud of his achievements.

"Ben has been an excellent student throughout his time at SGS and has developed a real flair for accounting, alongside his involvement with our rugby academy.

“The opportunity to create a career for himself in the profession with no debt is one he has grabbed with both hands and I am delighted that he has used all the knowledge and employability skills he has developed over the last two years to such positive effect.”

Kaplan apprenticeship co-ordinator, Jenny Mason, congratulated Ben on his achievement.

“We had hundreds of applicants of a really high calibre this year so being one of 18 winners is a real achievement, and employers will recognise this,” she said.

“Being awarded the Kaplan Scholarship is a fantastic opportunity and Ben can be reassured he has a bright future ahead of him, which is important when it's so hard for young adults to find employment.”