Why is the Level 2 Accounts / Finance Assistant Apprenticeship still such a secret when it provides such an ideal entry route into so many careers – not just accountancy?
At the beginning of 2020, FE Week announced that “Hopes for a level 2 business administration standard were shattered today after the new boss of the government’s apprenticeship quango rejected a final plea from employers”.
Their analysis showed that the popular framework version of the apprenticeship, which was going to be switched off from 31 July 2020, attracted 3,064 starts from 346 providers in the first quarter of 2019/20.
Although there is a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Business Administration there is now no longer a Level 2 Apprenticeship in Business Administration – so the traditional entry route for youngsters entering business disappeared. Or did it??
In August 2020, little notice seemed to be taken of the introduction of the Level 2 Accounts / Finance Assistant Apprenticeship – except by us that is!
Clearly accountancy isn’t newsworthy.
To us, the Level 2 Accounts / Finance Assistant Apprenticeship seems a natural successor to the L2 Bus Admin Apprenticeship – and in fact a much more robust entry route as it requires employers to recruit candidates who have the academic ability to pass the AAT exams at Level 2.
Although some will naturally progress to Levels 3 and 4 Apprenticeships in Accountancy, this does not have to be a foregone conclusion.
With the general business and finance grounding provided by the Level 2 Accounts / Finance Assistant Apprenticeship, apprentices can progress to Apprenticeships in other disciplines – e.g. Customer Service, Digital Skills, Sales and Marketing or even Boat Building or Marine Engineering! Every activity and transaction in business ends up at some stage on the accountants desk and so a basic understanding of accounts and finance is a great basis for a future career in many occupations.
In addition to the requirement to complete the AAT Level 2 Certificate in Accounting (or equivalent), there are 10 areas of knowledge, skills and behaviours that are assessed:
Apologies for the following detail, but I felt you might find it surprising to see the wide range of skills and behaviours that are developed
Examples of some of the “learning outcomes” within each of these 10 areas are:
1.1 Awareness of elements of commercial law that may have an impact when working in accountancy, such as contracts, data protection or Anti Money Laundering
2.3 An understanding of what makes a business or organisation successful, through either buying or selling products or supplying services to a market
3.2 An understanding of the importance of the need to keep up-to-date with relevant policies, procedures, regulatory or system changes
4.1 Being able to deal effectively with a range of stakeholders using appropriate communication methods to deliver accurate and timely results
5.1 Being able to utilise relevant office/accounting software packages to input and manage data accurately
6.2 Actively identifying team workload problems and offering to support peers where appropriate
7.1 Supporting colleagues and collaborating with them to achieve results
8.2 Displaying an ongoing commitment to learning and self-improvement
9.1 Behaving professionally by adhering to the organisational code of conduct
10.1 Building and maintaining customer satisfaction with the products and services offered by the organisation in line with company policy, regulation and practice.
Typical Job titles set out in the Apprenticeship Standard include:
Accounts Assistant, Accounts Administrator, Business Accounts Administrator, Finance Assistant, Data input clerk, Accounts Receivable Clerk, General Administrator, Finance Administrator.
SO – if you are thinking about taking on an office junior or want to test out the suitability of candidates for a future career in any of your departments, we would encourage you to consider enrolling them on Level 2 Accounts / Finance Assistant Apprenticeship. In just over 12 months, you will have someone bedded into the culture of the business, with an understanding of a range of the business’ activities that will hold them in good stead over their future career.
You may not be looking to develop your new financial controller or business services partner – but you may be looking for an ambitious office junior who is going to really muck in and help out the team, and either progress in other areas of the business or even leave to pursue a career elsewhere, allowing you to recruit another junior and another breath of fresh air!!
If you would like to book a call to discuss how a Level 2 Accounts / Finance Assistant Apprentice could help your business, please click here. We can even help you find them and screen them prior to interview, to test their aptitude for accounting!