A guide for apprentices

As an apprentice you will:

  • be employed full-time and earn a salary while you learn
  • learn key business, accounting and financial knowledge; gain work experience with your employer and study for an internationally recognised qualification (equivalent to a higher education certificate, higher education diploma or a foundation degree)
  • develop higher-level business skills and broad-based personal competencies, including team working, communication and presentation skills
  • become an effective employee and a valued member of the team
  • experience lots of variety and plenty of responsibility, such as working with different clients at their offices.

Why an apprenticeship?

  • Employability
    • As an apprentice, you will gain a large amount of valuable knowledge, practical skills and work experience, as well as a recognised qualification. This combination can help increase your future employability, boost your cv and open up new career opportunities.
  • A recognised qualification
    • You will gain a recognised qualification: ATT, demonstrating you are a member of the oldest and largest professional body for those working in tax compliance in the United Kingdom.
  • A stepping stone to Chartered status
    • After completing the higher apprenticeship, and gaining the ATT qualification, you can continue your studies towards Chartered status by progressing to the Chartered Tax Adviser qualification from the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
  • Debt free
    • The higher apprenticeship programme allows you to start your highly-skilled career without the student debt that your university-educated peers may have accumulated during their degree course

Read about the experiences of some apprentices.

What will you learn?

An overview of the technical skills, business skills and competencies that apprentices will learn and acquire through the apprenticeship are outlined below:

Component ATT qualification Tax Practice Business Skills
What is it? A recognised standard in the industry and a potential stepping stone to CTA status A recognition of vocational competence: the practical application of technical skills A recognition of competence in the wider business skills required to be a productive employee
  • Personal Taxation
  • Business Taxation & Accounting Principles
  • Law
  • Professional Responsibilities & Ethics
  • Options
    • Business Compliance
    • Corporate Taxation
    • IHT, Trusts & Estates
    • VAT
  • Application of technical knowledge from the ATT examined modules
  • Application of employers' individual approaches and methodologies to tax work
  • Understanding of the importance of keeping up to date with regulatory and technical updates, and regulary doing so
  • Managing own performance
  • Communication skills
  • Effective meetings
  • Commercial awareness
  • Internal financial management
Assessment Examination papers set and assessed by ATT Demonstrated through the successful completion of work-based tasks: apprentices will build a portfolio of evidence of their competence for assessment Demonstrated through the successful completion of work-based tasks: apprentices will build a portfolio of evidence of their competence for assessment


Potential job roles and responsibilities

At the start of your apprenticeship most of your time will be spent gaining an understanding of tax in general whilst completing the first stage of your ATT qualification.

The ATT exam training will help develop your technical knowledge which might be put into practice by working alongside your colleagues in the tax department.

As your training progresses your commercial understanding and technical knowledge will broaden and you will build your own client portfolio and begin to manage these clients.

How to find apprenticeship vacancies

Seeking a higher apprenticeship opportunity is just like looking for a job, so you will need to keep your cv up to date and well presented as employers can recruit at any time of year. You will need to find employers who are currently advertising higher apprenticeship opportunities and follow the application process specified. There are several ways to find apprenticeships:

  • Register on the National Apprenticeship Service Vacancy Board.
  • Register your details on websites that send out apprenticeship vacancy alerts such as Future Talent.
  • Identify employers you would like to work for and visit their 'careers' web page to find out whether they offer higher apprenticeships.

Progression from your apprenticeship

On the completion of your Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in tax, you can progress on to:

  • Membership of the Association of Taxation Technicians.
  • Chartered status via study for exams of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.
  • Further or higher education to undertake business-related or other qualifications, including foundation degrees. Visit the UCAS wesite for more information.
  • The level 7 Higher Apprenticeship in Tax (currently under development).