For almost a year now I've been training in the tax department of a big FTSE 250 firm (in industry).
I was attracted to the role firstly because I did a numerate degree, secondly because it seemed to provide a great opportunity for me to apply what i'd learned at uni to real-world scenarios, thirdly because of the ACA-CTA training programme on offer and fourthly because of the salary.
As mentioned before, it's been almost a year now and I feel like I've learned very little. I've made good progress with the ACA part of the joint qualification, passing all the certificate papers first time with scores averaging in the 70s. However I feel like I've learned very little on-the-job. I get along with all my colleagues and let them know when work dries up but this happens on a very regular basis. I'm constantly running out of work and being given small bits of work unrelated to tax - like little odd jobs that feel more like a favour to my colleagues. This work is often very simple, menial spreadsheet tasks that I feel add very little value to the company. It's very rarely tax-related so I'm not learning anything new either.
I've reached a stage where I feel like if I were to have an interview elsewhere and they asked me what I'd learned on-the-job here that I'd have very little to talk about. I've not even came close to scratching the surface with any of the following taxes: corporation tax, VAT, employment taxes, income tax, capital gains tax. And I feel like if it weren't for the qualification my career would be stagnating and I would have left by now. I'm worried as I'm aware experience is perhaps the most valuable asset you can acquire in the workplace but all I'm getting from this role at the moment is the qualification (and no application of what I'm learning).
I feel like if I were to look for work elsewhere in the future, even after completing the qualification, that I'd be back to square one. As hinted at previously, I have mentioned the lack of work on numerous occasions to my manager and their boss and I have no idea what to do about the situation. They've told me that because I joined mid-way through the tax cycle that I've not been able to pick up tax-based tasks for this reason and they've been reassuring me for a while now things will change soon and I'll have a lot more work to do.
But they've been saying that for a few months now and nothing has changed. Does anyone have any advice or any recommendations?