Accounting trainees 2021

Celebrating Apprenticeships and Busting the Myths


By David Richmond, Accounting Partner, Armstrong Watson Accountants, Business and Financial Advisers

This week sees the celebration of apprenticeships, with the annual National Apprenticeship week running from 7th to  13th February.

As a firm we are strong advocates of the apprenticeship scheme as we believe not only do they provide individuals with valuable skills and experience they need for a successful career -they provide businesses with brilliant people.  

Whilst some individuals thrive in a formal full-time college or university setting, some, and certainly a growing number of roles, are better suited to a hands-on learning approach within a live working environment.

Unfortunately, apprenticeships have been surrounded by many myths over the years, and for those considering a career within a business like an accountancy firm such as Armstrong Watson I’d like to bust those:

  • Myth 1 – “Apprenticeships are only for people aged 16-18”

False - Our accountancy trainee groups are made up of people of all ages. This isn’t just for new hires; we also utilise the apprenticeship as a means to support existing colleagues to upskill.

  • Myth 2 – “An Apprenticeship isn’t a real job”

False - Apprenticeships are not about making tea and photocopying; at Armstrong Watson our apprentices are involved in valuable client work that supports the wider business. Studying via the apprenticeship means that they also benefit from a structured and well supported study pathway.

  • Myth 3 – “Apprenticeships don’t lead to real qualifications and will limit my career progression”

False - We offer the opportunity to study at Levels 3, 4, 5, and even level 7 - equivalent to a Masters degree! Both the ACA and CTA supported at AW are Chartered qualifications and on completion the apprentices are either a Chartered Accountant (ACA) or a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).

  • Myth 4 – “I won’t have a job at the end of my apprenticeship”

False - We are committed to progressing our apprentices through to attaining their qualification and progression into further roles in the business, so all new hire apprentices are employed on a permanent basis rather than temporary or fixed term contracts.

So if you, your children or grandchildren are looking towards the first steps of a career or a totally new direction from an existing, please consider the many benefits of hands-on learning, whilst earning, both financially and through experience within the working in environment. Likewise, if you’re a business owner, there are many benefits to ‘home-grown’ talent.

Read about Armstrong & Watson's apprenticeship rising stars during apprenticeship week 2022.

If you’d like to discuss a career in accountancy our dedicated learning and development team will be happy to help. Contact or for accountancy or business advice please contact

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