David Malthouse spoke with Dr Peter Ellington, Founder and Director of Triple Bottom Line Accounting, and Tatiana Blana, Accounts Manager and graduate apprentice at Triple Bottom Line Accounting, about what it’s like to hire and work as an apprentice as well as the value they can bring to a business.
Triple Bottom Line Accounting was founded in 2009 and currently has 13 employees, with a large number of them being apprentices.
What do you feel an apprenticeship is?
“An apprenticeship is a great way of developing in and out of your workplace to progress your career” Dr Peter Ellington, Employer.
Apprenticeships are a great way to develop employees’ skills, both in and out of the workplace to aid their career progression. Apprenticeships can help employees to become more confident and knowledgeable as they learn skills in the classroom and are then able to practice these in the workplace. This can in turn help the employer as apprentices are can introduce new and more efficient ways of doing things.
Apprenticeships allow time for trainees to reflect on what they have learned and achieved, therefore they are a good way to ensure reflection of professional development and skillset. Both Peter and Tatiana believe this time to reflect is essential to aid development.
An apprenticeship is also a great way for an employee to achieve the qualifications for a reduced cost with no debt incurred to them.
How has having an apprentice benefited you as an employer?
“I have seen a major improvement in our apprentices progression at work.” Dr Peter Ellington, Employer.
Apprentices are a great way to bring motivated and youthful talent into a business. Apprentices are generally willing to learn and develop their skills on the job, whilst fitting in and adapting to a business’ needs.
Employers benefit from the new skills taught to apprentices through classroom work which can be essential for staying on top of the ever-changing business landscape. Furthermore, the communication, leadership, time management, and reflective skills taught during an apprenticeship programme are invaluable for career growth and success.
Research shows that 74% of employers said apprenticeships helped them improve the quality of their product or service*
How has being an apprentice aided your accountancy training?
“An apprenticeship has helped me to reflect on my professional development and achievements.” Tatiana Blana, Graduate Apprentice.
Being an apprentice helps to build a host of different skills that can aid personal development. Gaining workplace skills as well as knowledge in the classroom gives apprentices time to reflect on the work they do and more importantly why they are doing it. The guided approach to study with help from skills coaches can also help ensure trainees stay on top of work and are disciplined to complete exams in a designated time. They are also there to monitor and review work, as well as answer any questions.
What are the challenges of recruiting an apprentice?
A major challenge for many employers recruiting apprentices is that their trainees need to dedicate 20% of their time to off-the-job training. However, this time spent training will massively benefit a business in the long run. This is because apprentices are able to use this time to reflect and gain skills that will help them work more effectively and efficiently. It also teaches them the value of time management and staying on top of their workload.
What are the challenges of being an apprentice?
Many students say that it is beneficial to be organised when on an apprenticeship programme. This includes good time management and working efficiently to get the most out of a working day. This is crucial to managing workload.
Furthermore, having a good relationship with a training provider and tutor will help to be able to organise time more effectively. Whilst having regular meetings and setting realistic goals will help to keep trainees on track with their studies.
How can you reduce the burden of admin?
It is no secret that having an apprentice comes with admin and paperwork but there are many ways to reduce this. For example, having a good relationship with a training provider means they are able to streamline the amount of admin required by the employer. A training provider is there to offer support and explain anything employers or trainees may be unsure of.
How easy/difficult is it to set up an apprenticeship programme?
It is fairly straightforward to set up an apprenticeship programme, you can contact your chosen training provider to have a chat and find out where to start. For Peter at Triple Bottom Line, it felt like a “natural progression” to put his employees through apprenticeships, and found it to be a smooth process.
*Information from the Government Apprenticeship website.
You can watch the full video with David, Peter and Tatiana here.
Find out more about the benefits of hiring an apprentice.