School and College Leavers

Do you have the 'Ambition Wanted' to join Armstrong Watson?

If you are finishing school or college and looking for your career to take off, our Ambition Wanted programme might be the perfect option.

We’re an expanding business and the sky really is the limit with us.

When you’re with Armstrong Watson, you will be welcomed with rewarding work and a fantastic learning environment to reach your potential. Our Ambition Wanted programme brings together classroom study and on the job learning as part of our full AAT study package. We see our trainees as the future of our business and offer lots of different training options as your career progresses with us. To show our commitment to you and your career with us, all of our jobs are permanent.

We get that starting your first job and studying at college at the same time can be tough – that's why our people attend college on day release and  we provide paid time to sit your exams.

We are very proud that in 2018 we were named by the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) as one of the 'top 5 firms in the UK in which to kick start your accountancy career'.

Our Ambition Wanted programme is perfect for you if:

  • You’re keen to start your career and earn a salary as early as possible;
  • You’re concerned about the cost of going to university;
  • You prefer on-the-job training to full time learning;
  • You respond well to coaching and feedback;
  • You like to be independent and challenge yourself
  • You're keen to avoid student debt and don’t want to wait to start your career ( and earn of course!)

Having ambition pays off at AW!

A lot of our colleagues have joined us straight from school and we are proud to provide the support and training needed.

We know what we are doing… check out our video to find out how one of our trainees beat off stiff competition to become shortlisted for 'InCumbria Trainee of the Year 2018'.

Study Support

An AAT Level 4 is equivalent to a Higher Diploma or the first year of a degree. There will be plenty of on-the-job training to develop invaluable skills and you will be supported over an 18 month period to gain sought after accounting qualifications, establishing a solid foundation for a successful career in accounting. We also offer the prestigious Chartership (ACA) qualification, following on from AAT or after your degree, for those with the highest level of academic ability (it's tough at the top!)

You will be enrolled as a member of the AAT and will receive lots of useful information sent direct from your new professional body. Don’t worry, we pick up the tab for your membership fees.

Winner of 'Apprentice Employer of the Year 2019' Award

We will thrilled to win the Apprentice Employer of the year 2019, following our win in 2017.

This year we have taken on more accounting apprenticeships than ever before, to continue to grow our own talent ensuring our teams are at the forefront of providing great business advice. 

It's encouraging to see our apprenticeship scheme being recognised by local education institutions and training providers and the high quality of talent coming through – which was represented by the 170 applications we recieved this year.

Careers enquiry

Armstrong Watson

A great place to work

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Working for Armstrong Watson

"When I joined AW (from a big 4 firm), one of my biggest concerns was that the team wouldn’t compare to what I was used to - I shouldn’t have been! The greatest strength of the AW team is that the tax assistance I need is across the desk, not someone I have to look around the office for, and because we’re sat next to each other we talk about the issue at hand. That means not only am I upskilling my corporate finance knowledge, but I’m trusting the person not the brand. Furthermore, as we’re all in touching distance of each other we’re investing in our teams, spending time coaching them and helping them develop. What’s amazing about AW is that we understand who our current clients are and who we want as our clients. OK, I’m no longer working on FTSE 250 clients with complex derivatives, but helping a local engineer secure funding for growth and more resources is just one example of how a change of firm has helped me to make more of a difference than just a box ticking exercise."

Simon Turner, Audit & Assurance Director

"Studying AAT has given me valuable skills and knowledge that I can apply in my day to day work, and I will now be going on to study the ACA qualification. Working within a professional environment with the acquired skills from AAT has given me the confidence to progress within the workplace and moving forward hope my career will develop with the knowledge and expertise my training has given me."

Abigail Graham, Trainee Chartered Accountant

"Having gained an English Language Degree at Newcastle University, I joined the team in October 2011. Training for the ACA qualification helped me pursue my career goals by allowing me to further develop the skills I gained at University. Armstrong Watson supported and guided me throughout, offering useful learning and development advice during every step of the process. A career in accountancy is never dull, as the day to day workload is varied and continues to challenge me. I now work directly with clients and help provide advice to a very wide portfolio of sectors. Working within a team I feel valued and I have a good peer group who support me."

Rhys Davies, Audit & Assurance Senior Manager

"I joined Armstrong Watson two and a half years ago after completing an Accountancy and Finance degree. What initially attracted me to the firm was the ability to progress and gain experience in a wide range of departments across 14 offices and also feel part of a close team. I joined Armstrong Watson’s Chartered Programme in September 2015 and I am thoroughly enjoying every aspect of my job.

The firm ensure I gain as much experience as possible, tailoring my practical work experience to what I am studying at college, building my knowledge and understanding."

Annabelle Wood, Audit & Assurance Senior

"I joined Armstrong Watson in 2009 excited by the prospect of gaining qualifications as an apprentice while working full time; my preferred approach over University. Over the past nine years I’ve been supported through the AAT and ATT qualifications and given the opportunity to work with some fantastic people in different departments and locations across the firm. I’ve recently progressed to an Accounting Supervisor role advising and supporting mainly agricultural clients in and around Carlisle. The varied workload continues to challenge me day by day; just one of the things which makes Armstrong Watson a great place to work."

Murdo Laurie, Accounting Manager

"My AAT experience has been a never ending journey of challenges and excitement. I study AAT at Carlisle College which is local and friendly. I go to college one day a week and work four days a week. This enables me to apply my knowledge from college to my workplace and visa versa. The teachers at the college are all welcoming and eager for you to succeed, which makes it such an enjoyable place to learn."

Stephanie Gregory, Accounting Assistant

"I applied for the Armstrong Watson chartered Scheme after hearing about the opportunities a friend had been given during her time on the programme. Armstrong Watson are always providing me with a broad range of experience across different offices and departments to help support my chartered studies. Not only has this helped me to put the ACA theory into practice, but it has allowed me to continually build on my professional development in the workplace. I joined the Cumbria Chartered Accountancy Student Society as both ICAEW Student Council (ISC) representative and chair and I thoroughly enjoyed the roles, and the firm fully supported my involvement allowing me time out to travel to London and Cambridge to attend quarterly ISC representative meetings for the student council."

Lauren Graham, Audit & Assurance Assistant Manager



Our Values

Passion

We share an enthusiasm for our firm and our clients. We have a real desire to contribute to making Armstrong Watson and our people successful, as well as ensuring our clients achieve success.

Trust

We can be relied upon as others have confidence in us, in our ability and in our integrity.

Humanity

Actively demonstrate compassion, consideration and kindness for others.

Honesty

We show fairness, consistency, integrity and are committed to being truthful, sincere and frank.