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Finance Apprentice (AAT Level 3), Exeter Science Park - Exeter

£15,000 per annum plus benefts package - Finance
Ref: 55 Date Posted: Monday 05 Aug 2019
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Role: Full time, fixed term contractExeter Science Park
Location: Exeter, Devon    
Salary: Circa £15,000

The Company:

Exeter Science Park Ltd (ESPL) is the result of a vision to develop a Science Park at Exeter to facilitate the growth of innovative, fast-growing STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medical) companies that exploit world-class research, create high-quality jobs, attract and retain talent, and drive productivity and economic growth in the region.

ESPL’s shareholders are Devon County Council (DCC), East Devon District Council (EDDC), Exeter City Council (ECC) and the University of Exeter (UoE).

ESPL is currently focused on becoming financially sustainable by 2021 based on owning and operating five buildings that are at various stages of development:

  • The Science Park Centre with café, meeting rooms and hot desking facilities that was opened in 2015 and is 90% full at the start of February 2019.
  • Three Grow-on Buildings comprising 27,000ft² were completed in November 2018. The buildings were pre let and after a range of tenant fit outs are now fully occupied.
  • A proposed Open Innovation Building of 20,00ft² is fully funded and currently in the design process. Commencement on site is anticipated to be August 2019.
  • A bespoke 12,000ft² University building is currently being constructed at the Park.

By 2021, we expect around 700 high-value, knowledge-based jobs to be based at the Science Park. However, we are about to start planning for the next phase of growth requiring the development of around 180,000 sqft of offices, laboratories and other technology facilities which is expected to cost over £60M. We expect this to result in a further 1,500 jobs at the Science Park by 2027.

The Role:

This is an exciting opportunity to become the first Apprentice at ESPL and to kick start your career in finance.  With ambitious growth plans and an increasing number of tenants on site, the financial management of ESPL is critical to its success and this is an opportunity to play an exciting part in it.

Currently all financial activities are carried out by the Finance Manager but as the Science Park develops over the coming years, he will focus on strategic and financial planning and is looking for the right person to manage the transactional financial activities.  We see the Finance Apprenticeship as the first stage of this development.

As cash flow is key to our business, you will learn and become responsible for raising basic invoices, following up on late payments as well as recording and posting supplier invoices and responding to basic supplier enquiries.  Having an eye for detail and learning to understand the financial processes is crucial to this role and the Finance Manager will rely on you to seek the relevant approvals for things such as purchase orders and invoice approvals and ensuring that accurate bank information is collected prior to approval as well as being responsible for gathering and processing employee expense claims.

This role will give you the opportunity to put your management accounting learning in to practice by contributing to the monthly management accounting process and posting basic journal adjustments as well as contributing to the management of recharges and assisting with the maintenance of the accounting system.

ESPL’s primary accounting system is Xero, supported by several cloud-based add-ons and apps. This is a fantastic opportunity for the right candidate to gain experience in cloud accounting and digital systems, an area that in the future will be the norm for all businesses.

While your focus will be on developing your knowledge and experience in financial activity, you will be part of a small team of 6 in a growing organisation and will therefore be exposed to all elements of how a business operates and will have the opportunity to support project work including project management, construction and building management by assisting the wider team with financial information.  There will also be the need for you to support the team with general office administration duties as and when required.

As well as developing your financial experience in a hands-on role, 20% of your time will be dedicated to your learning through things such as attendance at college, spending time with your manager, being observed, observing others, studying for assignments or exams or having one to one time to go through assignments.

The Person:

First and foremost, you will have a keen interest in studying for an accounting qualification and have ambitions for a career in finance.  ESPL takes learning and development seriously and everyone is encouraged to participate in development activity and continual professional development.  We want this role to be a steppingstone to an ongoing career at ESPL and it is therefore crucial that you have an appetite to learn and develop both professionally and personally.

You will have excellent numerical skills which will be demonstrated through your education and/or work experience and are someone who has good attention to detail.  As a Company who works with a broad set of suppliers, tenants and other stakeholders, as well as the immediate team, it’s important that you have effective written and oral communication skills and are open to developing these further throughout the apprenticeship. 

Teamwork is very important to you and you can get along with and build effective working relationships with your immediate team.  As well as focussing on developing your financial knowledge and experience, you will also be keen to help the team out when needed and take the time to understand how your work fits with the rest of the team.

Our Tenants are fast growing STEMM organisations and therefore an interest in STEMM and innovation would be an advantage, but not essential.  You do however understand how important tenants are to our business and have good customer service skills. 

This is an exciting chance to be part of a progressive and cutting edge business, in a beautiful location, where you will not only develop your finance knowledge and experience and gain a financial qualification, you will also gain first hand experience of how a small business works.

The Rewards and Term:

In return, we offer a competitive salary package, including bonus scheme and a generous holiday entitlement; we also offer a range of enhanced benefits to support our team, including ongoing development opportunities.

How to apply:

If you possess the experience, passion and attitude to make this role a success then we would love to hear from you. Please submit a CV and covering letter by clicking the apply button below by Friday 2nd August or for further details you can contact us on 01823 665297.

Please note that interviews are scheduled for the 20th August 2019.

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