Jun 2024 / Learners

An accountancy learner who is gaining his qualifications with ACT has reflected on a year of successes after bagging gold at a Welsh competition.

Gareth Williams, along with two other ACT learners, scooped gold at Skills Competition Wales 2024.

Gareth took part in the accountancy category of the competition, as he is currently working towards his AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) course.

For the contest, competitors were given tasks that reflect typical aspects of responsibilities carried out by those studying bookkeeping. The challenge was designed to test other key employability skills including the quality of written communication and the ability to prioritise tasks and teamwork.

Judges were left impressed by Gareth and the team’s focused and efficient approach to the challenge.

“We were a team of three competing against approximately ten teams on the day,” Gareth explained. “The competition was split into two parts, the first part required completing six tasks of varying complexity but topics we were familiar with. The second part required a short presentation in front of a panel.

“The competition was very tough for us all, but we managed to complete it to a very high standard. I was elated when we won gold.”

Not resting on their laurels for long, the trio are now setting their sights on something bigger.

Gareth added: “Shortly after we won, the idea was floated that we should try for WorldSkills UK.”

He and the team have recently completed qualifiers for the international competition and are waiting to see if they have become finalists when the shortlist is announced early next month.
Despite being a nationally-competing talent, Gareth only began his AAT journey two years ago.

“I’ve worked in credit control for a few years and I’ve wanted to gain accountancy qualifications for some time,” Gareth said. “The opportunity arose in mid-2022 to start with AAT and I haven’t looked back since – I have learnt so much and continue to learn.

“I have learned many technical skills and accounting principles but the most surprising skill I have come across is teamworking – especially during these competitions. I have found that being able to work effectively as a team is incredibly important and is something that has improved since taking part in these contests.”

Gareth is now working towards completing his AAT Level 3, of which he has one unit remaining. He then hopes to focus on Level 4, with a view of progressing to ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Karen Richards, ACT’s AAT coordinator, said: “Our AAT delivery team are incredibly proud of the teams’ achievements. Their attitude to learning and supporting each other has been exemplary. It’s so good to hear they have benefitted by developing their team-working and problem-solving skills. Both vital skills in the workplace and in further studies.”