‘Earn while you learn’ – why the apprenticeship journey matters in the post-16 education route

Thousands of students across the country will be receiving their A-Level results in a week’s time (15 August), and planning their future pathways with their career in mind.

The rising cost of university tuition and uncertainty in the job market has prompted an increasing number of students to opt for an apprenticeship over the university route – particularly within accountancy. Figures from the UK government show that there were 814,800 people participating in an apprenticeship in England in 2017/18*.

Claire Bennison, head of ACCA UK, said: ‘There are still misconceptions over the value of apprenticeships, particularly in how they compare with the university route – categorised as being the option for less able students.

‘Apprenticeships represent a legitimate route into the accountancy profession, where they carry a huge value among employers. With an ACCA apprenticeship, apprentices will have access to further study, either through an undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree.

‘For a variety of reasons, going to university may not always be the best option for school leavers. Many students want to enter work at 18 and feel an apprenticeship will get them into a good job, without incurring any student debt. This can be with a local firm, or indeed elsewhere by taking advantage of the accountancy profession being socially mobile.

‘ACCA recognises that the university route is still popular, but believes in diverse opportunities and our figures highlight both the importance and the increasing trend of students considering apprenticeships their most suitable path post A-Levels.

‘We urge the government and the new apprenticeships minister to focus on reinvigorating apprenticeship funding. This would mean ensuring more options are available for those who do want to work locally, especially in firms that are embracing digital and innovative ways of working.’

Alastair Barlow, a partner at flinder, an accounting, consulting and data analytics business based in London, says his company looked to the apprenticeship route to support its growth plans.

He said: ‘Hiring apprentices has been a brilliant solution both for the needs of the business and for the people we have taken on.

‘Our first two apprentices were graduates with an ambition to get into accountancy. Joining our firm meant they could combine studying for an accountancy qualification while earning and also gaining priceless practical experience. It has worked for everybody.

‘I’d recommend the accountancy apprenticeship option to any employer, student or school leaver when they are thinking about recruiting, or for their career.’

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*Source: https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN06113

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Notes to Editors

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) is the global body for professional accountants, offering business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management.

ACCA supports its 219,000 members and 527,000 students (including affiliates) in 179 countries, helping them to develop successful careers in accounting and business, with the skills required by employers. ACCA works through a network of 110 offices and centres and 7,571 Approved Employers worldwide, and 328 approved learning providers who provide high standards of learning and development.

Through its public interest remit, ACCA promotes appropriate regulation of accounting and conducts relevant research to ensure accountancy continues to grow in reputation and influence.

ACCA has introduced major innovations to its flagship qualification to ensure its members and future members continue to be the most valued, up to date and sought-after accountancy professionals globally.

Founded in 1904, ACCA has consistently held unique core values: opportunity, diversity, innovation, integrity and accountability. More information is here: www.accaglobal.com

 

"Apprenticeships represent a legitimate route into the accountancy profession, where they carry a huge value among employers. With an ACCA apprenticeship, apprentices will have access to further study, either through an undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree."

Claire Bennison - Head of ACCA UK

"Hiring apprentices has been a brilliant solution both for the needs of the business and for the people we have taken on. I’d recommend the accountancy apprenticeship option to any employer, student or school leaver when they are thinking about recruiting, or for their career."

Alastair Barlow, partner - flinder