As National Apprenticeship Week begins, the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) is urging people of all ages to consider taking up apprenticeships to boost their skills and employability in the face of the ongoing pandemic.
Previous research by AAT has shown that there is “significant interest” in the accountancy profession as a stable career choice, with 19% of respondents in a recent survey saying they believed accountancy, banking and finance were “the most stable” professions.
The association has also seen an uptick in interest in apprenticeships, particularly from young people interested in studying vocational qualifications as alternatives to university, as well as a rise in enquiries from school leavers.
It said this is echoed in recent findings from KPMG, which show how the firm has been supporting its apprentices throughout the pandemic. During the pandemic, the firm has strengthened its support to help apprentices gain their qualifications.
It has particularly helped apprentices through the company-wide move to remote working, maintaining engagement with existing apprentices and adapting their onboarding process for new apprentices who joined the business in October 2020.
Anthony Clarke, business development manager, (Employers), AAT, said: “During the last twelve months apprentices and their employers have faced huge challenges, but they have been able to adapt and progress despite this and we applaud them for their resilience and determination.
“The past year has led many people to reconsider their options, including pursuing a role in a more stable profession with in-demand skills such as accountancy. An apprenticeship can be an ideal way to gain these skills through studying with AAT alongside working, enabling apprentices to implement what they’ve learned whilst on the job and see how their studies can be applied practically.”
He added: “Now, more than ever, is the time for people to invest in their skills to ensure they can succeed in a rapidly changing business environment, including developing the strong financial acumen and technical accountancy skills needed in the economic landscape we find ourselves facing.
“Whether it be those about to finish full-time education or people interested in a change of career – including a move into the accountancy sector – we encourage people who have been thinking about taking the next step to look at the possibilities that an accountancy apprenticeship could open up for them as they build their own futures.”