We’re reflecting on our 11-year relationship with LTSB (Leadership Through Sport & Business). Here’s why this relationship means so much to us.
Who are LTSB?
LTSB are a growing social mobility charity, providing support to talented young people who, without LTSB’s help, might otherwise not realise their full leadership potential.
As their name suggests, this partly involves sport. Training as community coaches with LTSB’s football club foundation partners enables candidates to gain skills including planning, communication and motivating others.
What about the B in LTSB? At the same time as studying for AAT accountancy qualifications, candidates take 18-month paid apprenticeships with employers in the financial services industry. Many of those employers offer them permanent positions and careers. We’re proud to be among those employers.
Working with LTSB
BKL and LTSB have been working together since 2012, the charity’s first year.
We don’t just provide the 18-month paid training. Right from the outset we offer long-term employment and a real career.
We also enjoy supporting LTSB on social media and at their events, from speed interviewing evenings and webinars to their Women in Leadership conferences.
Well done to @LeadershipTSBiz on another brilliant Women in Leadership conference this week. With so many inspiring women to meet and learn from, 'Heard. Empowered. Ready' (#HER19) Had Excellent Reactions. Thanks to LTSB for these photos of our team in action. pic.twitter.com/y76fpmMPIG
— BKL (@BKLtweets) November 29, 2019
We have always appreciated the value of giving opportunities to school leavers, not just to graduates. Our youngest partner, Jon Wedge, joined BKL as a trainee straight from school. Supporting LTSB made sense to us.
In their own words…
Last year we asked some of our trainees to talk about their experiences of joining BKL through LTSB:
“I found LTSB on LinkedIn when I was looking for accountancy apprenticeships.
The mentors at LTSB have always supported me in getting the most out of my time. They got to know me on a personal level, giving me opportunities and supporting me in taking my AAT studies at a faster pace.
We all have different experiences to share at BKL. Some trainees join from school like me, some as graduates, but everyone at BKL is happy to give their time to fill in knowledge gaps. I’m encouraged to ask questions to get the best out of everyone around me.”
“A friend suggested LTSB as a way into a finance career for school leavers.
It’s doubly advantageous being part of LTSB and BKL. Support from LTSB includes practical workshops, a buddy system and a WhatsApp group, with continuing support after I complete my apprenticeship. BKL colleagues are supportive too: they welcome questions and don’t expect you to have all the answers.
All of this means I feel included.”
Some older comments from LTSB alumni who work at BKL:
“When I finished secondary school, I knew I wanted to be an accountant in the future. I chose the apprenticeship route over university so I could gain practical experience in the accounting industry whilst studying.
After completing AAT Level 2, I joined BKL through LTSB. BKL and LTSB have worked together for several years, so I knew they would understand how to help me to make the most of the opportunity.”
Read Bilshan’s career story
“LTSB is brilliant. The best thing I chose to do, and I haven’t looked back. They found me a great work placement at BKL. I know they would still always be there for support if I needed them.”
Alumni and awards
In 2021, Tom was a finalist in the Rising Star category of the Digital Accountancy Awards. From over 100 entries, Tom made it through to a shortlist of 10.
We’re proud that over the years, four of our trainees have won an LTSB Apprentice of the Year award. Bilshan is one of them (LTSB North London Apprentice of the Year 2019); another is Fabio Riccio (LTSB North London Apprentice of the Year 2017).
BKL itself won LTSB’s Employer of the Year award in 2019.
LTSB explained how we earned the award:
“Social mobility, diversity and inclusion are priorities for many organisations we work with but there are none who embrace this so wholeheartedly and effectively as BKL.
We are delighted to present BKL with our Employer of the Year 2019 Award in recognition of their outstanding engagement and the positive impact they have had on the lives of so many young people, their families and communities. Thank you, we could not do our work without you!”
We’re proud that our commitment to employee development was recognised as an Impact Business Model as part of our B Corp certification in 2022.
Like LTSB, BKL is committed to helping bright, dedicated people from diverse backgrounds to develop in meaningful roles: we benefit and our clients benefit. We will continue to do justice to LTSB by working with them to invest in outstanding people.
To find out more about the opportunities we offer to apprentices and trainees, take a look at our trainees page.