Learning trade on the job.
After gaining five A-levels, Carl Swansbury, from Houghton-le-Spring, has embarked on a career in the accountancy field with PricewaterhouseCoopers, having completed his Association Of Accounting Technicians NVQ with The Financial Training Company.
Carl started his accounting training, which funded by Tyne and Wear Learning and Skills Council, just over a year ago but went straight on to study for his advanced apprenticeship.
He said: "I've had to overcome quite a lot of snobbery within the profession. It got me down at first but thankfully my employers and family helped me to see that I wasn't inferior, just unique.
"The studying is manageable if you are organised and committed. I am genuinely proud of my success so far and see myself as something of a trailblazer for the company."
Nancy Rios, of The Financial Training Company, said: "It's been wonderful to see a 19-year-old, with no previous accounts experience whatsoever, progress to such a high standard so quickly."