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The Value of Apprenticeships

We know the value of apprenticeships. Of course, a degree is valuable, but university is not the route for everybody. It is in gaining real-life experience within an industry early on that is attracting more and more young people.

AAT has published a survey on exactly this. 2,000 adults in the UK were surveyed, revealing over half (56%) of people do not think a degree is worth the investment. 62% of those surveyed believed that three or more years of experience in a workplace was more valuable than studying for a degree at university.

We want to clear up some of the questions that we often hear from those looking to go into an apprenticeship.

Laura Whyte on the Value of Apprenticeships

“Accountancy apprenticeships open the door to so many opportunities in a range of sectors, not just working in a practice"

Laura Whyte

Why We Value Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are at the root of Whyfield. Back in 2005 our founder and Director, Laura Whyte, was all set to study for a degree in accounting and finance. She decided to turn it down so she could go straight into business, accepting an apprenticeship instead at a local firm.

This very decision led to Whyfield as we know it today. 9 years after starting her apprenticeship, Laura started her own firm which has so far supported 9 apprenticeships.

What are the different types of Accounting Apprenticeships?

Intermediate Accounting Apprenticeships (Level 2)

An Intermediate Accounting Apprenticeship is the equivalent to 5 GCSEs graded at levels 9 to 4 (A* to C). It would give the apprentice valuable experience with a variety of financial activities by dealing with bills and expenses to payroll and taxes.

The qualifications you can gain from this level of accounting apprenticeship are:

  • Level 2 Diploma in Accounting
  • Level 2 Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting.

This level of accounting apprenticeship can lead to any of the following roles:

  • accounts assistant
  • accounts clerk
  • cashier
  • credit control clerk
  • finance assistant
  • purchase ledger clerk
  • sales ledger clerk

Advanced Apprenticeships in Accounting (Level 3)

An Advanced Apprenticeship in Accounting is equivalent to 2 A-Levels. This offers a broader experience in accounting, unlocking more experiences in dealing with accounting principles and concepts, advanced bookkeeping, final accounts, VAT issues in business, management accounting costing techniques and ethical practices for accountants.

The qualifications you can gain from this level of accounting apprenticeship are:

  • Level 3 Diploma in Accounting
  • Level 3 Diploma in Financial and Management Accounting

This level of accounting apprenticeship can lead to any of the following roles:

  • assistant accountant
  • trainee accounting technician

Higher Apprenticeships in Accounting (Level 4)

The entry requirements for a higher apprenticeship are typically two A-levels, or any equivalent qualification.

The qualifications you can gain from this level of accounting apprenticeship are:

  • Level 4 Diploma in Accounting
  • Level 4 Diploma in Business Skills

This level of accounting apprenticeship can lead to any of the following roles:

  • accounts manager
  • accounts technician

Apprenticeships FAQs

What qualifications do you need for an accounting apprenticeship?

You don’t need to have studied Accounting, Business or other related subjects at GCSE or A-Level to be accepted onto an apprenticeship in Accounting. The only requirement is that you will need a 5 or higher in Maths and English.

Having some work experience is always advantageous for both the employer and the apprentice. Just a week with a firm or in accounting within a business will give you an idea of what to expect.

Can you become a chartered accountant through an apprenticeship?

In short, yes. Successfully completing your apprenticeship will open up the opportunity to train further and eventually work toward becoming a fully qualified Chartered Accountant. You will be able to work as part of a business or in the finance industry itself, continuing to progress your career with a globally respected qualification and the necessary skills to support you in any role you choose.

How long is an accounting apprenticeship?

You can expect to spend a year per Level that you are going to study. If you are taking your AAT you will start at Level 2 and work up to completing your Level 4, meaning you’ll be looking at 3 years + on your apprenticeship.