[The] Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has become an approved trainer of accountancy and finance apprenticeships as part of the government’s push to increase the number and quality of apprenticeships via the Apprenticeship Levy. CIPFA will now be listed on the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s (ESFS) register of apprenticeship training providers.
What to Expect From an Apprenticeship
As an apprentice, you’ll combine practical training with academic-based study. Apprenticeships take between one and five years to complete, depending on their level. An intermediate apprenticeship is level two and has a GCSE equivalent educational level, whereas a degree level apprenticeship is levels six and seven, and has an educational level of a bachelor’s or master’s degree.
Apprentices acquire that ‘real world’ experience employers seek when hiring new employees. As an apprentice, you’ll gain job-specific skills whilst working alongside experienced staff, you’ll get time for study related to your role (usually one day per week), and, not to mention, a wage. Some apprenticeships may also give you an additional qualification, such as a diploma.
The apprenticeship route is not the most obvious journey into a full time professional accountancy role (many aspiring accountants choose to go to university for example), but we feel being aware of all the options is vital. The great news for those wanting to head in an ‘apprenticeship direction’ is that a number of accountancy apprenticeships will be launched from the autumn this year.
By committing to an apprenticeship, you’re showing employers a willingness to be involved in practical application of knowledge from day one. It shows initiative and a hunger to get into your desired industry, and could also give you a significant advantage over another candidate in the competitive job market; more than three quarters of young people say going on an apprenticeship improved their skills and career prospects.
Additional benefits to becoming an apprentice include strengthening your CV, the chance to build contacts, gaining a nationally recognised qualification, the opportunity to progress, little to no debt, and guidance and support from co-workers.
For those who feel they are not quite ready for an apprenticeship, there is a traineeship. A traineeship is an education and training programme with work experience, designed to help young people (usually aged 16-24) who don’t yet have the appropriate skills or experience needed to secure an apprenticeship or employment.
If you would like to discuss your options for a future in accountancy, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us via our contact us page.