A Woodford Green school leaver is one of just 18 young people to be selected for an £15,000 accountancy scholarship.

Ben Lawrence, aged 18, impressed the judges of the Kaplan Award with his ‘life experiences and eagerness to develop’ he displayed moving away from home, to live with a host family so he could pursue his passion for rugby.

A total of 853,000 young people aged 16-24 were unemployed in February to April 2014, but Parliament reports have maintained that this number is falling.

Scholarships and apprentices as being encouraged to school leavers to prevent them from adding to the numbers already on Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

There were 265,000 people aged 18-24 claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance in May 2014, 129,600 fewer than in May 2013.

Mr Lawrence said: “I’m thrilled to have been selected for the Accountancy Scholarship. Once I’d made up my mind to become an Accountant I became worried about the huge amount of debt I would come out with after studying. Winning the Scholarship is such a huge weight off my shoulders and now I can’t wait to begin my Apprenticeship and start earning money.”

Ben is still looking for an employer to take him on as an Apprentice where he would work full time alongside training for his qualifications.