Accounting trainees 2021

Celebrating apprenticeships and busting the myths


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

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 takes place from 5 – 11 February and at Armstrong Watson, we have more than 100 apprentices, studying a handful of courses at different levels. This includes 43 who are working towards their AAT or ATT and 55 who are working towards their level 7 ACA qualifications, the latter of which is equivalent to a master’s degree. Each of them plays a valuable role in the business and has the prospect of a successful and rewarding career ahead.

Unfortunately, apprenticeships have been surrounded by many myths over the years, and it’s important to set the record straight as times have changed. While apprenticeships were once the domain of skilled occupations, they are now available in nearly all professions.


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 alongside their studies and are paid an attractive entry-level salary.

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 7. Both the ACA and CTA are Chartered qualifications and on completion the apprentices are either a Chartered Accountant (ACA) or a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). These qualifications benefit from a structured and well-supported study pathway and lead to great career opportunities.

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

False - Research has shown that apprentices are more likely to be employed and earn higher salaries than those with degrees. We are committed to progressing our apprentices through to attain their qualifications and offer many opportunities for progression to further roles in the business. All new hire apprentices are employed on a permanent basis rather than on temporary or fixed-term contracts.


If you, your children or your grandchildren are looking towards the first steps of a career or a totally new direction from an existing career, there are many benefits of an apprenticeship to consider.


If you’d like to discuss a career in accountancy please contact

Read more about Armstrong Watson apprenticeships

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