Spotlight on apprenticeships highlights the opportunity for business to address the skills gap

ACCA urges businesses to look at apprenticeships to boost their finance talent pipeline

This National Apprenticeship Week 2023 (6–12 February 2022), ACCA UK (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is urging businesses to utilise apprenticeships to boost their skills and talent pipeline.

The professional body for accountants is a long-standing champion of apprenticeships for the accountancy profession, as they align with ACCA’s values of inclusion, integrity and innovation, with the potential to fast-track skills development and offer a different route into the world of work in a way that university education cannot.

Gemma Gathercole, ACCA UK’s strategic engagement lead (England), said: ‘The UK talent squeeze over recent months has been well documented and although vacancy rates are starting to fall, we know that businesses looking for finance professionals are finding a tough market. All-age apprenticeship programmes can open up recruitment from school leavers to adult returners to the labour market and to those looking to retrain.

‘We know the accountancy profession continues to be an attractive profession, so employers looking to invest in their talent will be able to recruit. Apprenticeships can make big differences within organisations, to improve social mobility and create a range of opportunities both for existing staff development and for recruiting new starters.’

This year ACCA UK is highlighting the experiences of ACCA apprentices and sharing their stories though social media. We show employers that apprenticeship and training help them to demonstrate their commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), especially goals 4 and 8 to ‘ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and to ‘promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full productive employment and decent work for all.’

While businesses need to do their part to provide opportunities for apprenticeships, there are increasing barriers that government policy should address. The quality of apprenticeship provision remains a priority for organisations seeking to upskill employees or build a talent pipeline. The impact of high inflation means that government should consider an up-rating of apprenticeship standard funding bands in order to ensure quality teaching and learning remains in place. 

In England, ACCA offers a Level 4 Accountancy Technician Apprenticeship and Level 7 Professional Accountant Apprenticeship.

Read about businesses benefiting from ACCA apprenticeships

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About ACCA: ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global professional body for professional accountants.

We’re a thriving global community of 241,000 members and 542,000 future members based in 178 countries and regions, who work across a wide range of sectors and industries. We uphold the highest professional and ethical values.

We offer everyone everywhere the opportunity to experience a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. Our qualifications and learning opportunities develop strategic business leaders, forward-thinking professionals with the financial, business and digital expertise essential for the creation of sustainable organisations and flourishing societies.

Since 1904, being a force for public good has been embedded in our purpose. In December 2020, we made commitments to the UN Sustainable Development Goals which we are measuring and will report on in our annual integrated report.

We believe that accountancy is a cornerstone profession of society and is vital helping economies, organisations and individuals to grow and prosper. It does this by creating robust trusted financial and business management, combating corruption, ensuring organisations are managed ethically, driving sustainability, and providing rewarding career opportunities.

And through our cutting-edge research, we lead the profession by answering today’s questions and preparing for the future. We’re a not-for-profit organisation. Find out more at