At Armstrong Watson, we are strong advocates of apprenticeship schemes as we believe not only do they provide individuals with the valuable skills and experience they need for a successful career - but they also provide businesses with brilliant people.
Next week sees the celebration of apprenticeships, with the annual National Apprenticeship Week running from 5th – 11th February. It’s an opportunity to applaud our apprentices for their achievements and the valuable role they play in supporting the wider business.
Whilst there has been a previous stigma of apprenticeships – that they are low-level qualifications or second best to a degree, or that employers need to “babysit” apprentices – this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Armstrong Watson offers high-end apprenticeship, combining study with hands-on experience working within our accounting teams. Our apprentices, who are studying towards their Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) and Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) qualifications, are involved in valuable client work and benefit from a structured and well-supported study pathway, with the opportunity, once completed, to progress to become a chartered accountant. We also offer payroll and business apprenticeships too.
Not only do apprenticeships offer a viable alternative for those who don’t want to go to university, they provide individuals of all ages and backgrounds the chance to gain the experience and skills needed to hit the ground running, and for a business, they help deliver the skilled workforce it needs to grow and thrive.
Hays Salary and Recruiting Trends Survey 2024, which surveyed more than 15,000 employers and professionals across the UK, showed competition for talents and skills remains tough.
One of the ways to help alleviate this skills gap is to look at “growing more of your own” in the form of increased trainee numbers with the view of developing talent long-term as opposed to just buying it in constantly. The survey found that 35% of businesses across all sectors actively hired more apprentices in 2023 to address the skills shortage, up from 33% in 2022.
By creating a culture within your business of continuous learning and allocating time for employees to complete their training and achieve their career goals, you put yourself in a healthy position of having a skilled workforce who can deliver.
Businesses are wise to look outside of the traditional methods of recruitment and could certainly start by considering taking on more apprentices.