As a firm Thomas Westcott has a hard-earned reputation as a “centre of excellence” for training bright, ambitious young people looking for successful careers in accountancy services.
We love doing this, we’ve always done it, it’s just one of those things that’s embedded into the business’s DNA and all our partners and managers are committed to the cause.
In fact, we’ve recently announced our largest-ever intake of students who will spend the next three years training for their ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) qualification – the next big step on their paths towards full chartered status.
But before you start to think I’m trying to suggest Thomas Westcott is some kind of benign benefactor, handing out golden egg opportunities just because we’re so lovely and kind, think again!
Whilst it’s true that we are lovely and kind, we’re also one of the region’s most successful and fast-growing professional services firms, and there is an amazing business case for taking on apprentices to both underpin that growth and to plan for the future.
Here are five reasons why you should consider running apprenticeships in your business.
1. Succession planning
While running our businesses we all like to think we’re going to carry on being on top of our game forever.
In reality Father Time marches on. I’ve personally seen examples where businesses have made little or no preparations for when the inevitable happens, such as people moving on, retirements etc. With no leaders to take the reins, there’s no business left.
For us, apprenticeships are all part of our wider, long-term succession planning strategy. There are no “fast-track” options. Apprentices hoping to become successful accountants must complete a minimum of three years’ training. Not all will make the grade, and occasionally we lose people to competitors. But we know that those who work hard, achieve their professional qualifications and show true loyalty to our firm and its clients will stand us in good stead in the coming years.
2. Loyalty and retention
As an experienced training firm we know that apprentices who have stayed the distance to complete their professional qualifications are often highly motivated and show dedication towards helping us achieve our aims.
Demonstrating to an apprentice that you are committed to helping them up the ladder towards a successful career breeds loyalty, and you will reap the rewards down the road.
Especially for those operating in a competitive market, where well-trained, high-performing and motivated people are at a premium, the value in recruiting, training and retaining your own people cannot be underestimated.
3. Boosting business
According to the National Apprenticeship Service a full 81 per cent of people surveyed said they would be more inclined to pay for the products or services of a company that took on apprentices.
So, in addition to all the other common sense reasons for running an apprenticeship scheme in your business, you can add increased business to the list.
4. Improved productivity
We speak to many owners, managers and directors who complain that there aren’t enough hours in the day, and that they find their time taken up by smaller tasks when they should be focusing their efforts on growing their businesses.
Apprentices, keen to “learn the ropes”, can shoulder these tasks, which is vital to their own progression and frees you to get on with those bigger, more strategic activities.
5. Breathe new life into your operations
In our experience apprentices are full of enthusiasm and keen to make a positive impact to their new working environment. This is often infectious, breathing new life into your business.
What’s more they often bring creative new ideas with them, especially if they are fresh out of university and are early adopters of things like new technology and almost always bring something to the table.
Apprenticeships aren’t for every business. However, our own experience has been overwhelmingly positive, cementing our dedication to recruiting, nurturing and retaining exceptional people.
To find out how to get involved with our trainee, graduate and work placement programs click here
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