£1m invested in apprentices

Accountants switch from graduates to school leavers

Chris HorneSenior accountant Chris Horne has expressed concern that the sector is struggling to attract graduates and his firm has turned to hiring school leavers.

Campbell Dallas claims to be one of the largest providers of accountancy apprenticeships in Scotland and has spent £1 million on its apprenticeship programme. It plans to recruit 15 more this year.

Mr Horne managing partner at the Glasgow-based firm said the move has been successful and could work for the rest of the profession.

“The accountancy profession is struggling to attract, develop and retain young people, and is losing too many to competing sectors offering graduate programmes, such as financial services,” he said.

“Attracting university trainees is a major problem for the long term sustainability of the profession and will impact on succession planning in the near future.  Three years ago we set a strategy to focus on attracting and training school leavers, and I am pleased to say it has been very successful for the apprentices and for the firm.

“Since we began the apprenticeship programme we calculate that the firm has invested well over £1 million in employing, training, and development of staff.  In return we are growing our own talent, and ensuring our clients have consistency and continuity of service.

“It is a model that is working for our firm, and could benefit the profession in Scotland if adopted on a wider basis.”

The firm is investing £250,000 recruiting and developing 15 apprenticeship accountants this year, adding to the 50 staff currently under training contracts.

It has now been awarded the Investors in Young People Accreditation, the only people management standard that focuses on an employer’s recruitment and retention of young people.

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