Accountancy Apprenticeships for the Public Sector

The AAT Accounting Apprenticeship programmes offer a range of opportunities for public sector organisations. Central government departments, NHS Trusts and local authorities typically have a financial/accounting requirement and Accounting Apprenticeships can be used to attract, train and retain staff with the right skillsets, as well as contribute to the 2.3% government target.

What apprenticeships are available?

There are Accounting Apprenticeships available from level 2 (equivalent to GCSEs) right up to level 7 (post-graduate level). The right level will depend on the job role and the individual involved. Here at Damar, we offer the Level 3 Assistant Accountant Apprenticeship and the Level 4 Professional Accounting Technician Apprenticeship. The full range of apprenticeship standards can be viewed on the Institute of Apprenticeships website.

What are the benefits?

Much of the public sector has a solid tradition of investing in training, and apprenticeship qualifications have the added advantage that they can be paid for via the Apprenticeship Levy. Beyond the Level 3 or Level 4 AAT Diploma, the apprenticeship also focusses on the skills and behaviours that enable accountants to become lifelong learners who will continue to develop professionally, far beyond the duration of their qualification. Public sector organisations have used Accounting Apprenticeships to recruit new team members, as well as upskill existing staff, which brings excellent return on investment in terms of reducing recruitment costs, and increasing productivity and staff retention.

How can Damar help?

Damar Training work with many public sector organisations across England, including central government teams, NHS Trusts and local authorities. We understand the specific challenges these organisations face when engaging with Accounting Apprenticeships. We can help you overcome these hurdles and avoid the pitfalls.

Firstly, we keep it simple. Understanding delivery models, setting up an Apprenticeship Service Account or grasping costs and funding rules can seem overwhelming but we can provide you with clear and transparent information, without unnecessary jargon, and guide you through the process step by step.

Secondly, some public sector organisations have concerns around the 20% off-the-job training requirement of apprenticeships. This does not mean that your apprentice will be out of work one day per week. Our online delivery model allows for the training to be moulded around the needs of your team. In addition, there are many activities such as shadowing, which count towards the off-the-job training element, beyond undertaking the workshops and training delivered by Damar.

Thirdly, we provide flexible solutions. Unlike colleges, which have one or two set start dates per year, we can start apprentices at any time. This allows you to react quickly to organisational demands and maximise the training benefits. In addition, as noted above, our online blended delivery model means that many learning activities can take place at a time that suits both the apprentice and their wider team. This can be particularly beneficial for departments which have more than one apprentice on programme, but cannot afford for them all to be away from their workspace for extended periods at the same time.

If you are considering Accounting Apprenticeships for your organisation, please get in touch. We understand that it is a big commitment and will be happy to answer any questions and talk through any concerns you may have. We can also give you many examples of other public sector employers who are running their apprenticeship programmes very successfully, with high levels of engagement and excellent return on investment.

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