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So who won this year’s AAT awards?
Johnny Javier Morales Solozano, an apprentice at the Training Place of Excellence, walked off with the Apprentice of the Year Award at this year’s AAT awards.
Solozano came to the UK from Spain via South America with just €80 in his pocket. After finishing the equivalent of A levels in Spain he looked at his future in his home country and decided it wasn’t good! He took a plane with his €80 and slept on the sofa of a friend, got a job as a cleaner and learnt English.
He admits it was all very scary as he couldn’t even say hello to anyone. Solozano, however, found places that taught English for free and enrolled on a course. He knew he wanted to do something with maths and that is when he found out about AAT. Solozano said: “Sometimes you shouldn’t think too much about a decision, you should just do it!”
The Student of the Year award went to Jessica Leyland, who completed her AAT qualification in just seven (yes, seven) months. She used Premier Training and said that she enjoyed it so much that studying AAT never felt like a chore. In fact she said: “I loved it.”
Leyland left school at 16 with her GCSEs and it was her employer who pushed her (nicely) into AAT. They funded it and also gave her a lot of help during her studies. She was working in an administrative accounts role, and had only a basic knowledge of using accounting systems, and absolutely no knowledge of how the system worked. It was all just data entry. AAT gave her an understanding of ‘everything’ and she is now also a treasurer for a fundraising committee where she has to do everything manually. Leyland burst into tears on hearing her name read out and said she feels “really honoured and immensely proud”.
AAT Training Provider Winners 2016
• Pauline Sparkes Award for Best New Training Provider: Southend Adult Community College
• Training Provider of the Year – small: Damar Training
• Training Provider of the Year – medium: Middlesbrough College
• Training Provider of the Year – large: Bedford College
• International Training Provider of the Year: Botswana Accountancy College
• Distance Learning Provider of the Year: Premier Training
• Best use of e-learning: Home Learning
• Apprentice Training Provider of the Year: Kaplan Financial
• Apprentice of the Year: Johnny Javier Morales Solorzano – Training Place of Excellence
• Distance Learner of the Year: Thomas Brinsley – Home Learning College
• Student of the Year: Jessica Leyland – Premier Training
• Tutor of the Year: Caroline Warburton – iCount Training
• Lifetime Achievement – AAT Tutor: Shirley Joseph – Barnet and Southgate College
• AAT Champion: South Devon College
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