First Things First: What is an Apprenticeship?
An apprenticeship is a vocational qualification that combines practical training in a job with study. Apprentices work alongside staff, gain job-specific skills and earn a wage (holiday pay included), whilst having time to study alongside the role. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete (depending on their level). By the end of the apprenticeship, you’ll have a qualification and you can enter the workforce full-time.
Levels of Apprenticeship
There are a number of apprenticeship levels, each equivalent to an educational level:
- Intermediate apprenticeship (Level 2) = GCSE
- Advanced apprenticeship (Level 3) = A level
- Higher apprenticeship (Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7) = Foundation degree and above
- Degree apprenticeship (Levels 6 and 7) = Bachelor’s or master’s degree
Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.
Who Can Apply?
To apply for an apprenticeship, you’ll need to be:
- 16 or over
- Living in England
- Not in full-time education
As an accounting apprentice, you could work for a huge array of different companies from large accountancy practices to small, local businesses. A popular option for an accounting apprentice is to study one of the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT)’s accounting qualifications whilst working. Learn about the different AAT accounting courses.
Benefits of an Apprenticeship:
- Stay ahead of graduates – accounting apprentices can qualify in less time than those who opt to study a course at university
- Apprenticeships offer a direct, debt-free route into employment
- If you successfully complete an apprenticeship, you will receive generous exemptions with ACCA, ICAEW, CIMA and CIPFA
- Earn as you learn – you are entitled to the national minimum wage for an apprentice (£3.50 an hour), and you will receive 20 days paid holiday per year
- Internationally recognised qualification – if you choose to combine your apprenticeship with an AAT accounting qualification
If you’d like to discuss your route into the accountancy sector, contact Aspiring Accountants today, for plenty of free, impartial advice.
Or, for more information on AAT accounting qualifications, check out our What is AAT Series.