From education to employment

Welsh apprentice becomes youngest chartered management accountant in the world

Welsh apprentice becomes youngest chartered management accountant in the world

An apprentice in Wales has become the youngest ever chartered management accountant in their field after completing their qualifications.

Grace Bayton became the youngest CGMA designated chartered management accountant in the world after finishing her apprenticeship with Keystone Lintels in Cwmbran.

Grace had known she wanted to pursue an apprenticeship after her experiences of learning in full-time education; whilst she had enjoyed studying the topic of maths, she’d not had a positive experience at college, and didn’t want to go on to university.  

It was then that Grace decided to pursue an accountancy apprenticeship straight from college.

Grace, who lives in Newbridge, said:

“It’s such a hard decision for young people to make.

“I knew the apprenticeship route was better for me, even though others may have disagreed.

“You can be debt free. If you don’t enjoy it, you can stop and still have a year’s experience under your belt.

“You get the degree and experience at the same time!”

Recalling that she’d used the Careers Wales website at school, Grace visited the apprenticeship finder on the site.

The tool helped Grace to filter her search by sector, location and level. She went on to find the apprenticeship at Keystone Lintels that was near to where she lived, and exactly what she wanted to do.

Grace applied and was delighted to have been offered the role. Now, Grace is a passionate about raising awareness of apprenticeships as an option that can be hugely beneficial for young people in Wales.

Grace said: “I want other young people and parents to know there are other options. You can be successful without going to university.

“I want young people to realise apprenticeships in fields like accountancy is an option they could take.”

“I’m keen to help others have the same success as me.”

Dylan Evans is a careers adviser at Careers Wales, who supports young people with their options after finishing school or college.

Dylan said: “It can be difficult for young people who don’t know what they want to do after finishing school or college and are trying to decide between staying in full time education or finding other opportunities.

“Apprenticeships can be a fantastic option. They enable young people to gain vital work experience straight from school, learn directly from the experts in the field that they’re interested in and to earn a salary as they learn.

“We appreciate that it can be daunting exploring all the different options out there. As well as using our digital tools, such as the apprenticeship finder and careers match quiz, young people can get in touch with us to explore their interests and strengths and map out the options that are right for them.”

If you’re currently in school and would like to explore opportunities, including apprenticeships, with a careers adviser, please speak to a member of school staff who can advise how to book an appointment with the school adviser. You or your parent or carer can also call Careers Wales free on 0800 028 4844, email  or through live chat.

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