Why start an apprenticeship programme?

Client Relationship Manager, Charlotte Shaw, spent some time with Chloe Barr, Training and Apprenticeship Coordinator at Buzzacott, to learn more about her experiences of apprenticeship programmes. In this interview, we hear Chloe’s top tips for employers who are thinking of taking on an apprentice.

Buzzacott NAW22 - First Intuition

Why start an apprenticeship programme?

Client Relationship Manager, Charlotte Shaw, spent some time with Chloe Barr, Training and Apprenticeship Coordinator at Buzzacott, to learn more about her experiences of apprenticeship programmes. In this interview, we hear Chloe’s top tips for employers who are thinking of taking on an apprentice.

At Buzzacott, nearly 500 people work together under one roof in St Paul’s, London, making it the largest single office accountancy firm in the UK. In 2019, Buzzacott celebrated 100 years of business – although a modern firm, they are proud of their rich history and the success achieved over the past 100 years. Buzzacott has developed expertise and transitioned from being accountants to advisers, to now acting as a strategic partner to clients, whether they are individuals, businesses or not for profits.

What motivated Buzzacott to introduce an apprenticeship programme?

We introduced apprenticeship programmes at Buzzacott to create a well-rounded programme of tuition which places emphasis on the development of core work-based skills such as leadership, problem solving, teamwork and project management, in addition to the delivery of technical accountancy training.

The development of these core skills are critical in the accountancy field and help to build successful relationships with clients and colleagues.

The implementation of the apprenticeship programme also helps to create a level of consistency across the skills-based training where apprentices may sit within different teams.

What challenges did the team face in setting up your apprenticeship programmes, and how did you overcome them?

One of the initial challenges we faced was surrounding the required 20% off the job training requirement and how this was required to be evidenced. First Intuition has a wealth of knowledge around the apprenticeship requirements and have helped to create bespoke training programmes for each of our accountancy apprenticeship programmes, ensuring the off the job training element is allocated from the outset. Additionally, each apprentice has a dedicated Skills Coach who works with them throughout their training to support with the documentation and evidencing of this side of the programme.

What can the government do to encourage more employers to hire apprentices?

To encourage more employers to hire apprentices, the application and sign-up process could be made slightly simpler. The government could also do more to promote the benefits of accountancy apprenticeships as a viable alternative to university.

What advice would you give to employers considering taking on an apprentice for the first time?

Research the various training providers available as the delivery of each programme can vary depending on the provider. The appointed Training Provider will work in partnership with the employer, so it is vital that the delivery works with the business needs, and appropriate support is in place to assist with the initial set-up.

Find out more about the benefits of hiring an apprentice.

For more information on apprenticeship programmes at First Intuition, please visit our apprenticeship page.

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