While apprenticeships still largely tend to be associated with hands-on trades, they’re also a fantastic way to start out in professional services, too.
No longer just for school-leavers, apprenticeships are suitable for graduates, existing professionals looking to upskill and individuals seeking to move into a new industry.
The ICAEW Chartered Accountant qualification, the ACA, is one of the most advanced learning and professional development programmes available. It is valued around the world in business, practice and the public sector.
And it’s rapidly gaining popularity. The last two years have seen record student intake numbers, with 36,000 current ACA students, almost 12,000 of whom began in 2022.
ICAEW developed its apprenticeships standard in conjunction with employers, industry bodies and training providers to ensure that it both serves the needs of businesses and equips individuals with the skills they need to build successful careers.
There are essentially three routes to becoming an ICAEW Chartered Accountant through an apprenticeship:
Level 7 apprenticeship - school leavers and graduates (3 years)
Level 4 ICAEW CFAB (18 months), then complete remainder of the ACA via Level 7 apprenticeship (2-3 years)
AAT Accounting Qualification (1-2 years), then complete remainder of the ACA via Level 7 apprenticeship (2-3 years)
These various routes into chartered accountancy provide new or existing employees, of any age, with the knowledge, skills and experience that your business needs now and to grow in the future.
By either investing the money already accrued in their apprenticeship levies, or taking advantage of the 95 per cent funding available to non-levy paying businesses, hiring apprentices can be a cost-effective way for employers to develop and grow their finance teams.
FROM APPRENTICE TO PRESIDENT
My career so far is proof that apprenticeships can provide a solid foundation for a fulfilling career.
Instead of university, I studied for my AAT qualification as an apprentice at a small firm. I then moved to KPMG to pursue my ACA qualification.
I took this valuable experience gained with firms at both ends of the spectrum and set up my own practice.
In May 2022, I was appointed president for ICAEW Lancashire and South Lakeland where I help support the members in our region.