Press release: Leading professional services firms join together to enable more apprenticeships

Leading professional services and industry employers, Professional Bodies and training providers have come together to develop a new apprenticeship Standard for the audit, accountancy and tax professions.

The new Standard has been developed to provide school leavers with a further route into the sector and develop the skills, knowledge and behaviours that they need to build successful and sustainable careers in business. The apprenticeship Standard has been designed to meet the needs of employers and to enable apprentices to study towards a professional qualification, where required.

The Professional Accountancy / Tax Technician Standard qualifies as a Higher Apprenticeship within the Government’s Trailblazer initiative. The Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) welcomed the opportunity to work alongside professional services employers and other Professional Bodies to develop this new employer-led Standard.

The employers, Professional Bodies and training providers share common ambitions to widen access to the audit, accountancy and tax professions, improve productivity and maintain quality standards. The development of this new Standard and its accompanying assessment plan will enable employers, both large and small, to invest in opportunities for young people. With support from training providers and Professional Bodies, employers will be able to broaden their search for talent and help their apprentices to succeed, irrespective of their background.

The employers involved in developing the Standard include KPMG, PwC, EY, Deloitte and a range of large and small employers from the sector. Together, these organisations already offer a variety of entry routes to professional roles for school leavers and apprentices. It is hoped that the new Standard will attract even more young people into professional services; offering employers greater opportunities to tailor their apprenticeships to meet their talent and productivity needs.

Nadhim Zahawi MP, the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Apprenticeships, said:

“It is really welcome news that the new Standard is being bought forward – as it will not only mean great opportunities for young people to develop a career in this sector, but that the training and skills they will receive has been designed by employers who know exactly what the next generation needs to thrive and go far.

“It is great to see leading employers from this industry coming together to work collaboratively on this, and support young people to develop the skills they will need to be the rising stars of the future. This will create a whole host of new opportunities in this field, and I very much hope to be meeting many of the apprentices who will benefit from this later in the year.”

Michael Steed, President of the ATT, said:

“This is great news. The ATT is delighted it will be part of the new higher apprenticeship programme which builds on the success of the existing programme.  The new apprenticeship programme has been produced by employer-led groups to ensure that they will get maximum benefit from the apprenticeship scheme.  Apprenticeships are a proven means of addressing skills shortage and a viable alternative to graduate recruitment for businesses of all sizes and offer greater opportunities for those interested in a career in tax.

“Traditionally apprenticeships have been seen by most people as primarily a route into trades like building and plumbing. This is valuable, of course. However, increasingly they can also be a path into white collar professions such as tax and accountancy. We believe this initiative has the potential to increase the diversity of the profession and will attract even more young people to apprenticeship roles in the professional services sector.”

Notes for editors

  1. The new standard will be available for delivery from April 2016.
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