Ground-breaking Apprenticeship recruitment, and for FREE!
Sourcing and recruiting good quality accounting candidates can be quite a challenge at times, not just in recruitment agency costs, but also the time and manpower it takes to shortlist, interview and select the appropriate candidates.
Realising this was a major barrier for considering taking on an apprentice for many accountancy firms and finance departments, Accountancy Learning created our unique ‘Talent Programme’ service. This new service has seen us working flat out to meet the recruitment needs of apprenticeship employers and candidates.
The Talent Programme is a free* service and brings together like minded employers and candidates, so that the recruitment process is carried out as swiftly and effectively as possible.
In short, our Talent Programme service oversees your vacancy advertising, shortlisting, screening, first interviews, assistance with accessing funding and enrolling your apprentice onto their apprenticeship. The service takes the time and stress away from employers having to carry out these tasks themselves. Plus, as the service is free*, it drastically reduces the costs of recruitment, which can be a barrier to some would-be apprentice employers.
Step by step effective recruitment
More specifically, we can help your recruitment process by:
- Helping you to decide what level of apprentice you need to best support partners and managers within the practice.
- Working closely with you to understand your working regime, your client types or the type of work undertaken and the personalities within the firm. Once we have a better understanding of these factors, we can take a more targeted approach in finding candidates who are likely to be most suitable.
- Putting together a detailed job description and person specification, so that both you and the candidates are clear as to what is required.
- Placing targeted adverts on our website, Facebook and on the Government’s ‘Recruit an Apprentice’ website to attract candidates. If required, we can also place adverts on the Indeed recruitment website.
- Carrying out a fact-find of every student to get to know more about them on a personal level as well as academically and to link these skills and attributes with your firm where we feel there would be a good cultural fit.
- Screening applicants, based on the agreed job specification, and only forwarding suitable candidates to you.
- Getting the shortlisted candidates to complete our Bookkeeping Aptitude Test. We can monitor their progress through the course, mark their test papers and report back to you. Alternatively, we can provide the firm with their log-in details so they can monitor their own candidates and score their tests. We set a pass rate of 90% and would only recommend firms interviewing students who achieved this rate or higher.
- Organising face-to-face or online interviews between you and candidates and arranging second interviews where appropriate.
- Assisting you with offering the roles to suitable candidates, if required, and making plans for the appropriate level of training support which will be required.
We can do all the above activities free of charge*, or only carry out one or two aspects, depending on your in-house capacity for recruiting and selecting apprentices.
Creating the right role, attracting the right candidates
Much of what we do is about matching the right firms with the right candidates. In order to do this we work closely with employers at the start of the process and where required we can provide guidance on a range of matters such as:
- Current salary rates for the different accounting apprenticeship levels.
- The different levels of apprenticeship and which level would meet the firms current and future work demands.
- How to access the new government wage subsidies and training support packages.
- How to set up the appropriate training and support programme for each apprentice, including the use of online and face-to-face tutor support.
Accessing apprenticeship funding
We can also help you to access the various different funding schemes for recruiting and training apprentices. Currently, there are the following wage subsidies available:
- £3,000 per new apprentice recruited, regardless of how old they are.
- £1,000 per new apprentice recruited who is aged between 16-18 years old.
Employers could therefore claim up to £4,000 per apprentice. The £3,000 wage subsidy was introduced in 2020 as part of the Government’s post-covid initiatives to get more people back into work. Having been extended a couple of times since last summer, the current deadline to access the funding has been extended again to 31 January 2022.
Employers must have recruited their apprentices before the end of January but have until 31 March 2022 to enrol them onto their apprenticeship.
In addition to the above wage subsidies, employers can also claim up to 95% of their apprentices training costs as part of the Government’s training levy. This could increase to 100% if the apprentice is aged between 16-18 years old and the employer employs less than 50 staff.
Our Talent Programme team can take you through all the ins and outs of accessing the different funding schemes and the process that is involved.
The time is right
In order to recruit your accounting apprentice by the end of January 2022, we would highly recommend you start that process now. Competition is fierce in the accountancy recruitment marketplace, so giving yourselves as long as possible to find the right candidate is important. That said, we have recruited some apprentices in as little as 2 – 3 weeks, but as a general rule the process takes around 6 – 8 weeks.
Productive apprentices from the start
As part of our apprenticeship training packages, we also provide Level 3 AAT apprentices with our innovative bookkeeping course ‘The Balancing Act’, where they need that extra reinforcement of the principles of double entry bookkeeping.
Using a combination of online study and printed manuals The Balancing Act programme teaches your apprentices how to complete a set of accounts in as little as 5 – 10 working days.
We would strongly advise that employers in accounting practice get their new Level 3 apprentices to complete The Balancing Act as part of their induction period, or before their formal apprenticeship training starts. By doing so, you can quickly see whether the new apprentice has what it takes to become an accountant or not.
The Balancing Act is included as part of the apprenticeship qualifications, but can be bought separately for only £180+VAT. It is one of the most cost effective ways to train staff on the principles of bookkeeping, teaching them how to put together a set of accounts.
Sign up to the Talent Programme now!
There has never been a better time to recruit an accounting apprentice and our Talent Programme service makes this process as seamless and effective as possible for you.
If you would like to discuss the possibility of taking on an accounting apprentice, call us now for a free no-obligation chat. Paul Hollis, our Business Development Manager would be happy to discuss the different apprenticeship schemes and funding options. Paul can be contacted on 01392 311925 or email [email protected].
*We are not a recruitment agency and do not charge fees or commission for finding and placing students. However, this is on the basis that employers place their student with us for their accounting apprenticeship training. Should a firm only wish to use our recruitment service and not our training courses, we reserve the right to charge a one-off fee of £500+VAT.