Unique pre-apprenticeship programme drives career progression for aspiring North East accountants
20 June 2018
Northern Skills Group has worked closely with 1st Cloud Accountants’ to develop a bespoke pre-apprenticeship programme, which has helped talented young people secure apprentice positions at a leading North East accounting firm.
Sunderland-based 1st Cloud Accountants originally selected 12 individuals to complete the programme. During the experience the students learned about VAT and payroll skills, participated in a Dragons’ Den-style presentation, a skills examination and an interview with the firm’s director, Steven Tuckwell.
Upon completion of the programme, five students were chosen to start an AAT Apprenticeship, running from level 2 to level 4, at 1st Cloud Accountants after demonstrating great potential and enthusiasm for accountancy. The apprentices have been allocated across the firm’s two offices, which are based in Sunderland and South Shields.
The three year-long apprenticeship will provide the learners with experience in payroll, tax, bookkeeping, IT, and general administration duties, as well as developing their abilities in using essential software such as Sage and Xero. Assessors at Northern Skills Group will also support the apprentices academically throughout the course and oversee the practical elements of their training to help them gain respectful qualifications.
1st Cloud Accountants has been recognised for its commitment to apprenticeship training as a nominee for the Employer of the Year Award at the National Apprenticeship Awards 2018, with support from Northern Skills Group.
Kirsty Miller, AAT Apprentice at 1st Cloud Accountants, said: “Accounting is a career path I had been considering for a while, so the pre-apprenticeship programme was an ideal way for me to gain experience before making a final decision. Having the opportunity to gain experience before my apprenticeship was extremely valuable and increased my confidence when starting my permanent position at 1st Cloud Accountants.”
Elaine Spencer, Accounts Manager at 1st Cloud Accountants, said: “The pre-apprenticeship scheme provided by Northern Skills Group is a brilliant way for us to highlight individuals’ potential and passion for the subject before selecting final candidates. All five apprentices have demonstrated their continued determination to develop as accountants at 1st Cloud Accountants.”
Paul Graham, Director of Curriculum Development at Northern Skills Group, said: “Our apprenticeship and training experts are committed to providing young people with alternative opportunities to university. The positive outcome experienced by apprentices at 1st Cloud Accountants is a great example of how successful our programme can be for North East businesses.”