Finding and training your future stars

Haines Watts embrace new Apprenticeship scheme

As part of their continued expansion in Northamptonshire, Haines Watts Accountants have taken on 4 new Accounting Apprentices.

Due to expanding roles and new business within their Accounting and Tax Departments Haines Watts have decided to take advantage of Government Apprenticeship funding to take on and train new Apprentices rather than hire more experienced staff.

This has meant they have been able to give 4 local school leavers the opportunity to start careers in accountancy, totally supporting the Government’s agenda of creating 3 million Apprenticeships by 2020.

The new staff have all settled into their new roles really well and are already proving an asset to their departments. Kathryn Walshaw, Personal Tax Manager has 2 of the Apprentices in her department and feels very positive about the contribution they are already making:

"At Haines Watts we recognise that there is a lot of ambition and talent within school leavers which can bring enormous benefits to the business and to the apprentices. They learn first-hand from experienced colleagues and get the best of both worlds from learning on the job and in the classroom. We hope we can help to build careers for all our new starters and in doing so support the careers of our current team members. By doing an apprenticeship with us you can complete the same qualifications as graduates but with none of the student debt! We’re looking forward to helping them all on their career journeys".

The Apprentices are all training at Starting Off under the new Accounting Apprenticeship scheme which allows them to gain AAT qualifications alongside demonstrating their skills learned at work.

Starting Off are working with Haines Watts to ensure the Apprentices are all training together and, taking on 4 at once has had the added benefit that the trainees can support each other through the Apprenticeship process. They have already formed great working relationships with each other and the rest of their teams.

Apprentices are attending classes for half a day a week at Starting Off and receiving training at work to help put their skills into practise. At the end of the 2 year programme as well as gaining AAT Bookkeeping and Advanced Diploma qualifications they will have compiled a portfolio of workplace evidence to demonstrate the level at which they are working and will have an interview with an Independent Assessor to sign off their Apprenticeship.

Haines Watts’ decision to take on new Apprentices is a reflection of the general growth in the Apprenticeship sector at the moment. Since the introduction of the Apprenticeship Levy and new funding rates for non-Levy payers, Starting Off are currently seeing a large up-take in Apprenticeships which is helping to support the general growth in the local economy.