A spotlight on Finance Apprenticeships

As the famous saying goes, “money makes the world go round”. Every business requires a finance team to complete a range of tasks, from managing their outgoings, forecasting their future income to ensuring employee’s wages are paid on time and correctly. A career in finance can be both challenging and rewarding. Within this blog, we will explore what an apprenticeship in Finance may look like.

Over the past decade, more and more apprenticeship frameworks have been introduced. Among  these is a range of finance apprenticeships that include:

  • Payroll Assistant Manager (level 5)
  • Debt Advisor (level 3)
  • Senior Professional Economist (level 7)
  • Accounts or Finance Assistant (level 2)
  • Payroll Administrator (level 3)

… And many more! 

As you can see, there are opportunities to enter the finance sector at different levels. This means there is not one set pathway that you have to follow to create a successful career within the finance industry. Read on to find out when you would access each of the different levels.

Levels of apprenticeships

You can start an apprenticeship at any point in your career, but the common starting points are either when you leave Year 11 or Year 13. When leaving at Year 11, you can access Level 3 apprenticeships, which are also known as advanced apprenticeships. On the job advert, the employer will tell you what GCSE grades you need to access the apprenticeship.

If you are looking at completing an apprenticeship at the end of Year 13, this means you will have spent the last 2 years completing your Level 3 qualifications. This may be A-Levels, a T Level or a Btec qualification. As you have your Level 3 qualifications, you can access Level 4 or 5 apprenticeships (known as higher level). If you have achieved good grades at Level 3, you can also progress straight onto a Level 6 apprenticeship (known as degree level).

Areas of apprenticeships 

There is a wide range of apprenticeships that will lead you to different job roles within the finance industry. The best way to decide which one is right for you is to complete work experience. This will allow you to gain experience, which will look great on your CV, apprenticeship or university application.

In addition to this, work experience will also allow you to see the different jobs in action. This will give you an understanding of the different day to day duties of each person so you can make an informed decision on where your skills, experience and personal qualities will best fit within a finance department.

Remember, just because these apprenticeships in different job roles exist, it doesn’t mean they will be available when you are looking. In order to find a current apprenticeship, you have to have an employer with a vacancy who is willing to link with a training provider. You work at the employer 80% of the time and spend 20% of the time working on theory work set by your training provider. 

Where to find apprenticeships 

You can find apprenticeships by applying through a job board, such as Not Going to Uni, directly on the company website or through a training provider. If you are looking at level 3 apprenticeships, the training provider is likely to be your local college. If you are looking at higher and degree level apprenticeships then the training provider will be a university. 

One of the key concerns for young people when looking at apprenticeship options is finding opportunities. It is true that the number of apprenticeships starts to fall in 2019/20 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic from March 2020. The pandemic and lockdown period saw a disproportionately negative impact on apprenticeship starts for those aged under 19, and those starting intermediate level apprenticeships. 23,400 fewer people were participating in an apprenticeship in 2019/20 than in 2018/19.

However, it is worth noting that in 2019/20, there were 719,000 people participating in an apprenticeship in England, with 322,500 apprenticeship starts and 146,900 apprenticeship achievements. 81% of all apprenticeship starts were in four subject areas: Business, Administration and Law; Health, Public Services and Care; Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies and Retail & Commercial Enterprise

How to expand your apprenticeship search 

Here are some key ways that you can expand your chances of success when looking for a Finance apprenticeship:

  1. Look outside your immediate geographical location, for example, if you live in Reading, consider expanding your search into London where you will find far more opportunities.
  2. Be open to considering different levels of qualification, for example, if you have completed Level 3 qualifications, consider Levels 4-6, not just Level 6.
  3. Be proactive in your search and keep a list of employers you are interested in working for throughout your education. This means that when you get to the time you are seeking an apprenticeship, you can reach out to each of the employers to see what opportunities they have.

Best of luck in your search!

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