Boost your business with an AAT apprenticeship
Accounting apprenticeships are formal, nationally recognised training programmes for ambitious individuals. Apprentices have the opportunity to achieve a qualification while developing hands-on skills and experience in your finance team. They are typically motivated and committed individuals who will be a real asset to your business.
How to set up an apprenticeship
Setting up an apprenticeship is simple. Just follow these four steps and discover how accounting apprentices can invigorate your finance team:
1. Get funding advice
Your regional apprenticeship agency will provide information about apprenticeships and the type of funding available to you.
- England - National Apprenticeship Service
- Wales - Welsh Government
- Scotland - Skills Development Scotland
- Northern Ireland - Department for Employment and Learning
Funding is available for both new and existing employees depending on the apprentice's age and experience. You can access full funding for all 16 to 18 year olds, so you only need to pay their salary. You may be eligible for funding for apprentices aged 19 years and over. Funding incentives vary between regions, so contact your regional agency for more information.
2. Choose a training provider
You’ll also work closely with an AAT-approved training provider to determine your requirements. They’ll help you to develop and implement a programme that suits you and your business. This will include agreeing a training plan, assessment methods and managing and evaluating your apprentices. They may even help you with recruitment.
In England a formal assessment is required before the apprentice is deemed to have completed their accounting apprenticeship. We will act as the Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO) to oversee the management and assessment of these End Point Assessments.
AAT-approved training providers are always happy to advise without obligation, so we recommend comparing providers and asking questions to ensure they meet your business requirements. Give the training providers a call: they will be happy to help.
Find out about the following:
Choose an AAT-approved training provider and set up a meeting with them. They’ll help you with the administration and complete most of the paperwork for you. You will need to confirm the number of current employees and/or new recruits you would like to start an apprenticeship.
The next step is to hire your ideal candidate(s) and start the apprenticeship programme. The National Apprenticeship Service has produced a useful guide, the Employer Guide to Apprentice Recruitment, that will guide you through the recruitment and hiring process.
Questions about apprenticeships?
If you have any questions about accounting apprenticeships, AAT's team of Regional Account Managers are here to help. Call the Account Management team on +44 (0)20 7397 3009.
3. Student enrolment and AAT registration
Apprentices in England studying an AAT accounting qualification alongside their apprenticeship will be registered with AAT by their training provider. If the apprentice is not studying a qualification, you’ll need to register the student with AAT, who as the Apprentice Assessment Organisation (AAO) will deliver the End Point Assessment.
Before a student can start their AAT apprenticeship in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland they will need to enrol with the training provider. A student cannot be classified as an apprentice until they have enrolled with a training provider and the training provider fees have been paid. Once a student has enrolled they will need to:
- Register online with AAT
- Pay the AAT fees
This will enable students to access exclusive AAT study materials and sit their assessments.
4. Employer responsibilities
You won’t be bombarded with forms and paperwork. Your employee’s training provider will do most of the administration for you, including a health and safety check.
Before your apprentice starts work, you will need to set up an Apprenticeship Agreement. In this you'll commit to supporting their study time out of the office (usually one day a week), and provide a mentor for them at work. Apprentices must work for at least 30 hours a week.
Apprentices earn the national minimum wage, although many employers pay more than this. The average wage is £170 per week. In some roles the wage may increase as the apprentice progresses and takes on more responsibility. They will also get the same benefits as an employee, including a holiday allowance.
Your apprentice will be given targets to achieve. Regular quarterly review meetings with the apprentice, line manager and training provider, ensure that the tasks the apprentice is doing at work complement their training. These meetings will be held in the workplace, to minimise interruption to your business.
We're here to help
If you would like guidance on accounting apprenticeships for your business, or you are an student or an employee who would like to become an apprentice, speak to one of our helpful advisors on +44(0)20 3735 2434. Our lines are open Monday to Thursday 09.00-20.00 and Friday 09.00-17.00 UK time.