To help support small accountancy practices and SMEs who are considering taking on apprentices but are unsure where to start, AAT has launched two new e-books with targeted advice and information. The e-books cover issues including what benefits apprentices can bring to a business and how they can shape organisational culture, as well as simple steps to get started, what financial support is available and ‘myth-busting’ sections tackling some of the major concerns SMEs have around hiring apprentices. They also include real-life examples of accounting apprentices and companies who have hired them, showing the positive impact that investment in apprentices can have on SMEs. 

Anthony Clarke, Business Development Manager (Employers), AAT, said: 

“The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and economic slowdown and uncertainty mean that many SMEs are finding their cash flows and balance sheets under increasing strain. Now, more than ever, good financial management is needed to help businesses not only survive, but also adapt to new opportunities. 

“Hiring an accounting apprentice can bring huge benefits to SMEs, including improving financial resilience and company culture, providing invaluable support in hands-on ways, and bringing accountancy knowledge and technical skills coupled with strong business behaviours into the heart of the organisation. Yet SMEs and small accountancy practices often have concerns about hiring accountancy apprentices, such as the cost of training and how much time they will spend away from the office. 

“That’s why AAT has developed two new e-books to help SMEs and small accountancy practices who are interested in hiring apprentices to get started, as well as tackling the common perceptions around accounting apprentices and outlining what financial help they can access. For organisations who invest in apprentices, the reward is loyal, highly qualified employees who can help upskill the business as a whole and have the skills to succeed in a rapidly changing business environment.” 

AAT has recently reported an uptick in interest in apprenticeships, particularly from young people interested in studying vocational qualifications as alternatives to university. Many of those studying apprenticeships with AAT have gone on to successful careers – and in some cases even to hiring apprentices themselves as part of their own business. 

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The e-books for SMEs and small accountancy practices are available via the AAT website.