“I always thought working for a company like Accenture you’d need a degree and years and years of experience, but the Movement to Work scheme gives people like me an amazing opportunity – a different route into the company, along with the resources and support you need to build up your skills on the job.”
Michelle Taylor was just 10 when she left mainstream education. Having never had the opportunity to gain qualifications, and going on to have four children at a young age, Michelle never thought she’d be able to work especially not for such a big company.
This was all to change at the age of 22, when Michelle’s partner’s mother suffered from a stroke. Michelle was provided with no option but to proactively seek out employment opportunities, in order to ensure the right level of support for her family.
Michelle has always held a strong interest in technology, and reached out to the East London Business Alliance (ELBA), a charity that connects businesses to the community in East London. ELBA recommended that she apply for Accenture’s Movement to Work Go Tech programme linked directly to technology apprenticeship opportunities at Accenture. Movement to Work is a voluntary collaboration of UK employers committed to tackling youth unemployment.
During her time on Accenture’s Movement to Work Go Tech programme, Michelle completed technology and employability training with training provider QA and spent three weeks on work experience at Accenture’s London office where she learnt a range of skills including technology, collaboration and presentation skills. Alongside this, Michelle learnt how to construct a CV and prepare for interviews, giving her the self-assurance to apply for an apprenticeship. Following the Movement to Work training Michelle applied for an apprentice at Accenture itself, and was successful in securing a place.
Michelle commented on her experiences with Movement to Work and Accenture: “I thought my lack of qualifications and experience would mean that I’d never, ever, get a job. But I realised I had lots of skills from being a mum – like organisation, timekeeping, prioritisation – which were transferrable to work. The Movement to Work programme gave me the confidence to fill in my CV with my personal experiences and capabilities, and taught me how to talk about them positively in interviews.
“Without Movement to Work, I wouldn’t have known enough to apply for apprenticeships, as I had never set foot in a workplace. It has given me the necessary skills to enter the world of work. I assumed that to work for Accenture you’d need a degree and years and years of experience, but the Apprenticeship scheme gives people like me an amazing opportunity and I will gain a degree as part of my apprenticeship. It’s a different route into the company, along with the resources and support you need to build up your skills on the job.
“Working with Accenture is brilliant. The company is so supportive, I feel that you can just be yourself here, whatever your background. There are also so many ways to advance your career here in Accenture, and I never knew an apprenticeship could do so much for me. I really feel that nothing can hold me back now.”
Michelle is currently in her second year of a four-year apprenticeship with Accenture. Over the next two years of the apprenticeship she will gain a technology degree in IT, helping her to progress her career. So far, Michelle has gained experience in Java programming, databases and web development as well as gaining an understanding of project management. Michelle is looking forward to completing her apprenticeship and continuing her career with Accenture.