A number of professional bodies and professional firms including the Big Four have joined together to develop the new professional accountancy standard, an apprenticeship scheme aiming at attracting school leavers into the accountancy and tax professions.
Apprenticeships were traditionally found in manual trades such as plumbing and carpentry, but the accountancy/tax technician standard now offers a route into accountancy through a higher apprenticeship programme.
Professional bodies have collaborated with employers in delivering the standard as part of the government’s trailblazer initiative. Apprenticeship candidates will learn a number of requirements including technical knowledge, regulation and compliance, and ethical standards, as they study towards a professional qualification.
Young people have already established apprenticeships as a valuable route into a career, according to the 71% who responded in an ACCA research project.
Firms already signed up to offering the standard include KPMG, PwC, EY, Deloitte and a range of large and small employers from the sector.
ICAS, ACCA and ATT have all welcomed the opportunity alongside other professional service firms to develop the employer-led standard. The professional bodies all emphasised how the apprenticeship will benefit young people. ACCA head of education Dorothy Wood praised how the new imitative will give young people “unfettered access to the profession irrespective of their background”.
ATT’s president Michael Steed echoed this, noting how the apprenticeship standard"has the potential to increase the diversity of the profession”. ICAS executive director education Mark Allison added that the new standard would “create new opportunities for young people”.
Nadhim Zahawi MP, the prime minister’s adviser on apprenticeships, said: “It is really welcome news that the new standard is being brought 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.