However, recent data shows that a third of employers in accounting and finance are still unaware of apprenticeships. As the levy celebrates its third birthday, we look at key differences between the apprenticeship and exam only route.
One of the biggest misconceptions surrounding apprenticeships is that the scheme is only available to young people and school leavers. In fact, the scheme is available to people of all ages and can be taken by new and existing employees.
There are conditions an apprentice must meet before they can be considered for the scheme:
- An apprentice needs to be in a relevant job role and able to complete the apprenticeship within the time available. More Info>>
- An apprentice needs to be a citizen of a country within the EEA, or have the right to live and work in the UK and have been resident in the EEA for at least the previous 3 years.
- An apprentice can’t currently be receiving any other government funding.
- An apprentice should have significant development requirements across the knowledge, skills and behaviours in the relevant apprenticeship standard.
Key differences and similarities
Both apprentices and exam only students work towards their chosen professional qualification. First Intuition students can choose from the following: AAT, CIMA, ACCA, ICAEW, ATT, CTA. For apprentices, these qualifications can be included in the following apprenticeship standards we offer:
Level 3 Assistant Accountant
Level 4 Professional Accounting/Taxation Technician
Level 7 Accounting/Taxation Professional
SKILLS AND BEHAVIOURS
Apprentices don’t only focus on technical knowledge. They also work on developing skills and behaviours set by the relevant apprenticeship standard.
END POINT ASSESSMENT
To achieve the apprenticeship the apprentice will need to complete an end point assessment to show they have learned and applied the full range of knowledge, skills and behaviours required by the apprenticeship standard.
On an apprenticeship, 20% of the apprentice’s normal working hours, capped at 30 hours per week (for funding purposes only) over the planned duration of the apprenticeship must be spent in training and development, such as professional qualification and impact skills programme study and technical training. This is 6 hours per week effectively although it can be used flexibly across the apprenticeship (e.g. front loaded) as long as the apprentice can show OTJ activity at least every 4 weeks.
Whereas exam only students are generally funded directly by employers, apprenticeships are government funded via the apprenticeship levy.
The funded costs include professional qualification courses, skills and behaviours training, skills coach support, End Point Assessment preparation and course materials.
Costs such as non-mandated exams fees and institute registration fees are not covered by the levy funding and must be paid by employers separately.