Alex Miller takes a look at the drivers for the rising popularity of apprenticeships in the profession.
Over the summer, Business Secretary Vince Cable launched 4,230 new Higher Apprenticeships to fill nationwide skills gaps in a number of sectors - including 1,500 in accountancy.
The accountancy apprenticeships aim to allow young workers to study at degree-level, while working with employers and getting paid. The overall objective is also to widen access to accountancy by opening up an entirely new route - and comes at a time when apprenticeships in the profession are already on the rise.
Among the new schemes, the ICAEW has developed a Higher Apprenticeship programme in conjunction with Big Four firm PwC, the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT) and the Management Consultancies Association (MCA).
With graduate unemployment rates at a high and the average university student debt rising to £45,000, vocational education and apprenticeships are becoming ever more attractive options for school and college leavers.