For National Apprenticeships Week, we asked one of our employers for their view on how apprenticeships have impacted their business. Frankie Rubie, Assistant Training Manager, and Chloe Bourne, Senior Audit Manager and Head of Training, are responsible for the H W Fisher graduate and school leaver apprenticeship programmes at Level 7 and at Level 4. Here’s what they had to say when we asked them the following questions:
What do you see as the key benefits of an accountancy apprenticeship to an employer such as H W Fisher?
We see the following three areas as being the key benefits of apprenticeships:
- Accessibility to a vast talent pool of students of a certain age looking to gain a professional qualification.
- Additional soft skills training which complements the skills and behaviours set by the apprenticeship standards.
- The government contribution to apprenticeship training costs.
What has improved in your firm since the introduction of apprenticeships?
A generation of well rounded, supported and developing young professionals.
If the government asked for your view on the development of apprenticeships, what would you tell them?
To ensure that the apprenticeship is tailored specifically for each profession. Also, that the apprenticeship continues to consider commerciality and differing business needs.
What, if anything, would you like to change about the current standards?
The Level 7 standards can be quite rigid and leave little room for interpretation. Consideration is necessary for apprentices with differing job roles and experience.
Is there anything you would change about apprenticeships in general?
More clarity, as there are inconsistencies around the execution of the accountancy apprenticeship. For example; what the 20% off the job training can include. We’d like to see a reduction in the level of admin required for all involved, including apprentices. In addition, the English and Maths functional skills requirement should be looked at on a case by case basis.
We see our role as a training provider to ensure that the views of employers such as H W Fisher are represented on key groups. For example, the accountancy apprenticeship trailblazer group and other relevant forums. We hope that the government continues to listen to feedback from employers and take this into account when developing standards and reviewing funding rules.