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Sustainability and education adds up! College AAT apprentices donate their resources to Africa

23 Mar 2023
Books2Africa project participants by a yellow Intelect van

Middlesbrough College Group AAT accountancy apprentices and Teesside based engineering giant Intelect have joined forces to support students across the globe by sending textbooks to Africa as part of the social action project Books2Africa.  

Books2Africa are a ‘readcycling’ based charity that arrange for donated educational books and computers to be sent to Africa to improve lives and the quality of education. Middlesbrough College Group and Intelect have teamed up to arrange for forty boxes of accountancy textbooks to be donated and sent to Africa to help students around the world access meaningful education.  

The AAT accountancy qualification is internationally renowned and students across the globe study the same levels and units. With their used and spare books, Middlesbrough College apprentices have chosen to donate their materials to support students from Africa with their studies.  

Liz Barraclough, lecturer in accountancy and finance for Middlesbrough College Group said: “It is difficult to recycle books because of the glue in them, so the alternative is landfill. It is brilliant that we can give to those who need it and help to save the planet too!”   

Middlesbrough- headquartered Intelect have seen scores of apprentices through their AAT qualification, thanks to their long-term apprenticeship partnership with Northern Skills – the apprenticeship and training arm of Middlesbrough College. Ben Robinson and Jordan Whelpton are two former apprentices who studied the AAT qualification at Middlesbrough College and are now progressing in their careers with Intelect. The two inspired their company to link up with their former College to cover the postage to Africa of over 800 AAT accountancy textbooks. 

Jordan, who is now studying to become a Quantity Surveyor with the firm said: “The Books2Africa project is a brilliant initiative, and it is great that Intelect is supporting the College with this cause. 

“Studying the AAT apprenticeship with Middlesbrough College catalysed my career, so it is fantastic knowing that we are doing our bit to help people who are living in third world countries access education. I would not be where I am now without the support of the College and my tutors, and I would thoroughly recommend studying for an apprenticeship with Middlesbrough College Group- it changed my life!”  

23-year-old former apprentice Ben Robinson has now worked his way up to accounts manager with Intelect, he said: “Education is for everyone, and anyone can learn. Books2Africa is a fantastic cause and I’m delighted that Intelect are working with the College on this project. My apprenticeship was the foundation to my career, and I hope the resources will help people in Africa to access new opportunities.” 

Lily Brothwood, Marketing and Communications Officer at Intelect said: “We are proud to be supporting Middlesbrough College with the Books2Africa initiative by covering the cost of the postage of the 40 boxes they have collected.   

“As a business, we are passionate about supporting the next generation when it comes to learning and development, and we feel this campaign not only aligns with our values, but also highlights how we can be more sustainable when it comes to repurposing books and resources as a community.” 

Andrea Scope, lecturer in accountancy and finance for Middlesbrough College Group said: “The Books2Africa project is a fantastic initiative and one I’m proud the College has chosen to support. Our apprentices have been packing and labelling the boxes which perfectly aligns with the AAT syllabus and the apprenticeship units on personal and professional development, sustainability and social and corporate responsibility.   

“We are delighted that Intelect, with our two former apprentices at the forefront, are supporting our project by covering the postage of the books.  

“Education should be accessible for everyone, and the AAT qualification is studied around the world. Our apprentices with Intelect are helping to break down the barriers to education and are supporting students on a global scale to succeed in their careers, all whilst helping to save the planet too!”  

You can find out more about the AAT apprenticeships offered at the Middlesbrough College Group here.  

To read more about the Books2Africa project, please click here. 

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