ACCA tells businesses large and small – ‘apprenticeships make clear business sense’

Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will be vital to the take-up and success of apprenticeships, according to ACCA.

ACCA (the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) launches its first apprenticeship – the ACCA Accounting Technician Apprenticeship – advising businesses large and small of six key reasons why apprenticeships make clear and credible business sense.

The ACCA Accounting Technician Apprenticeship (Level 4 Trailblazer) leads to a Diploma in Accounting and Business, offering an alternative to university-based education for apprentices. It offers employers the chance to build their workforce and attract highly motivated new staff so their business can thrive.

John Williams, head of ACCA UK, says, ‘ACCA’s Accounting Technician Apprenticeship will help all employers find the talent they need to drive productivity in their business and for the economy – an important aspect of the UK’s industrial strategy announced by the Prime Minister in January 2017.

‘We believes SMEs will be vital to the success of apprenticeships and we’re encouraging the SME community to get behind these programmes – they could be the real driving force behind the take-up of apprenticeships.

‘And for those considering an apprenticeship, our Trailblazer programme allows apprentices to gain professional training and qualifications, building their experience and earning while they learn.’

ACCA’s six reasons for business to invest in apprenticeships

Apprenticeships make good business sense

Taking on an apprentice requires minimal financial investment but delivers a committed, highly motivated individual whose skills are advancing rapidly and who can make a positive impact on a business.

Three quarters (76 per cent) of employers who take on apprentices agree that they make the workplace more productive and 77 per cent say they make them more competitive.

Apprenticeships make hiring simpler and cheaper

More than half (59 per cent) of employers report that training apprentices is more cost-effective than hiring skilled staff, and that apprenticeships lead to lower overall training costs.

More than half say that hiring apprentices reduces overall recruitment costs. Training providers and ACCA will work with employers to recruit apprentices, customise training programmes and access funding.

Apprenticeships can drive motivation and retention

Providing an apprenticeship programme demonstrates commitment to long-term development that staff will recognise and value, leading to higher retention. Nearly all (92 per cent) of employers who employ apprentices say that apprenticeships lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce, with staff members contributing to their apprentices’ training and valuing the experience and opportunity to contribute.

Apprenticeships can develop existing staff

Apprenticeships are not just for new hires – business can now use them to structure and accelerate the training and development of current staff. With ACCA’s pathways this can further enhance retention and drive the acquisition of advanced skills, right up to chartered certified status.

They can introduce fresh perspectives and new ideas

Apprentices are a powerful way to attract new talent into an organisation – bringing millennials into the workplace who tend to be more digitally savvy, so supporting the existing workforce.

By providing ACCA apprenticeships, businesses can engage diverse local and national talent, and offer a genuine alternative to university that allows people to launch and build their careers.

Apprenticeships build a talent pipeline

Apprenticeships more than repay the investment. Through apprentices, employers will create long-term assets and advocates for their business – 57 per cent of employers report a high proportion of their apprentices going onto management positions within their organisations.

John Williams concludes, ‘ACCA recognises apprenticeships as being very much as a win-win for all involved, and we’ll be working with employers to make this a success, delivering the best experience – both for apprentices and business.’

Further reading on apprentices

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the