In this mini series, we speak to award-winning accountancy firm Beever and Struthers about their apprenticeship scheme. Each week, we will be focusing on their answer to a specific question relating to the subject.
This week, we ask them how the apprenticeship benefits them as a company.
How do you, as employers, feel that apprenticeships benefit the company?
Historically, going back ten years or so, we used to just take graduates as trainees. We then diversified into taking school leavers as well to do what, at that time, was an ANT (professional accountancy training course) rather than an apprenticeship. We got to the point where we were taking half of each, maybe because with graduates, you give them the three year training contract. We went through a phase where people would stay the three years and say “thank you very much for the training, now we will go and work elsewhere”.
By taking a school leaver, I am bringing them through two year apprenticeship, and then giving them a three year training contract. Meant that we got a longer period out of our investment. Also helps to spread the availability of staff as well.
We did find that once the school leavers had completed the programme, were in some instances, better performers and achievers at the end than some of the graduates. Five years experience instead of three.
They all get taught roughly the same stuff at college, it's just that the apprentice does two years of grounding in accounting before they go on to do the ACA programme. Ultimately apprentices do the same stuff as the graduates, but apprentices will have two years of relevant work experience. Graduate comes out with a lot of theory from university, which is potentially not always relevant.