Last week was National Apprenticeship Week – a week to raise the profile of apprenticeships and traineeships, it aims to promote the benefits of apprenticeships and celebrate the important part that they play in our economy. This year’s NAW saw the launch of a new mentoring service for small businesses that are interested in taking on apprentices.

About Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are an alternative to higher education. They gain skills and qualifications, but also acquire experience in full-time employment and earn money at the same time! Apprenticeships covers practical job-related learning, theory and understanding, and English and Maths. There are a wide range of apprenticeships available, and they are available to anyone aged 16 and over. Apprenticeships are increasing in popularity with more people choosing to complete an apprenticeship instead of higher education, largely down to high tuition fees and increasing competition for jobs. Even if someone is already employed, they could discuss with their employer the options to sign up to an apprenticeship programme, enabling them to develop further skills and improve their prospects. Apprenticeships have a positive impact on companies and individuals:

Benefits for Companies:

  • Companies could acquire an extra £18billion revenue from apprenticeships.
  • Government usually covers the cost of the training for most young people.
  • There is increased long-term productivity: a typical apprentice delivers productivity gains of over £10,000 per year – this increases to almost double that in the construction and planning, and engineering and manufacturing industries.
  • Apprenticeships are estimated to have contributed £34 million to the UK economy in 2014.
  • Two-thirds of the public believe that apprenticeships contribute to society and offer opportunities for young people.
  • 1 in 4 consumers would go as far to pay more for goods and services provided by businesses which employ apprentices.
  • Consumers prefer to do business with businesses that employ apprentices.

Benefits for Apprentices:

  • They give people the skills they need for the world of work.
  • They offer life changing opportunities for young people.
  • They provide a varied learning experience.
  • Hands-on training provides apprentices with an opportunity to put their skills into practice and helps them to gain more confidence in a working environment.
  • The government usually covers the cost of the training for most young people.
  • Apprentices receive the same benefits as other employees: at least 20 days paid holiday per year, sick pay entitlement and other benefits including statutory maternity pay and paternity leave.

We’ve taken the time to speak to the apprentices we have at ICS – take a look at their stories below.

Adam Shaqil – Customer Services Apprentice at ICS

AdamAdam is 17 – he started at ICS soon after leaving school helping out with filing. As he was helping out with the Payroll and Customer Service teams, our Customer Services Manager Jodie Mace offered him an apprenticeship which he started last summer. Adam’s apprenticeship has been a great opportunity and has allowed him to gain a lot of confidence. Once phone shy and nervous on the phone, he now confidentially speaks to customers daily, regularly receiving and making telephone calls. Adam is enjoying his apprenticeship and keeps a folder for all his good feedback. Adam thinks apprenticeships are very beneficial:

“A few of my friends think apprenticeships aren’t worth their time as they think they’re just going to be a slave and earn chips, but I think they’re good as they give you experience, and in the long-run you could get a job if you work well and give it your all”.

Adam certainly gives it his all as his manager Jodie Mace says of Adam:

“Adam’s confidence has grown immensely since he joined ICS. He now has a good understanding of almost all of our services and is not afraid of a challenge. He single handily takes on all new Limited companies and ensures the admin is up to date. He’s become a real asset of Customer Services team and hopes to complete his apprenticeship by the summer.”

Chris Lindsay – Apprentice Bookkeeper/Business Administration at ICS
Chris is 24 – he graduated with a degree in Criminology & Criminal Justice but even as a graduate found himself unable to find a permanent role. When the apprenticeship opportunity came up at ICS he went for it as he saw it as a great opportunity, believing that it was not just a job, but a start to his career. Chris’ training has included learning how to do VAT, annual returns, new incorporations, audits and payroll.

“I find my apprenticeship good fun – everyone’s really friendly and makes you feel at home. It’s just good fun to turn up every day. At the end of my apprenticeship I will get a NVQ in Business Administration, and hopefully become a permanent employee. After that I think I’ll do the accountancy qualification (AAT) when I’m ready”.

Sam Price – Corporate Account Manager at ICS
Sam is 27 – he was once an apprentice at an accountancy company, but now 10 years later is Corporate Account Manager at ICS. He began his apprenticeship in 2005 and finished it in 2007. When Sam left Sixth Form at 18, he had the choice of going to university or doing an apprenticeship. He opted to do an apprenticeship, and feels this was ultimately the right decision. Sam wanted the quickest possible route into a role, and ended up qualifying as Chartered Accountant before he would have done had he been to university. Sam was 22 when he purchased his first house, and is now climbing the property ladder. The apprenticeship gave him many benefits:

  • It put him a working environment much sooner than he would have been had he gone to university. This gave him not just work experience but life experience too, as he met lots of different people and networked.
  • Obtained a professional qualification (AAT).
  • Started earning money straight away – no student loan to pay back.
  • Got a decent job without having to go to university.
  • Developed personal skills.

“I think it’s for the go-getters of the world to go do an apprenticeship”.

Sam’s, Adam’s & Chris’s stories show how successful apprenticeships can be. A successful apprenticeship could one day lead to contracting. Here at ICS we help contractors with their accountancy and administrative needs via our Limited Company Service and umbrella solution. If you are interested in using ICS then please contact us by chatting to us online or calling us on 0800 195 3750.