Bristol Business Blog: Andrew Jordan, audit partner, Haines Watts Bristol. Celebrating apprenticeships

February 1, 2024

National Apprenticeship Week, which takes place early each February, is a great opportunity to celebrate apprenticeships as a means of getting young people into the workforce.

For Haines Watts, apprenticeships have become a key strategy for recruitment and business development. In our Bristol office alone we have taken on 11 apprentices over the past three years.

Ultimately, Haines Watts is a people business, so our key aim is to develop apprentices into advisers who can interact and work with clients on a one-to-one basis.

Our philosophy is to identify confident, engaged, numerate school leavers with real people skills who are committed and dedicated to training. Our role is then to develop the skills which our business needs for its long-term future.

Anyone who takes on a career at the age of 18 and recognises the long-term advantages of avoiding significant debt is demonstrating a maturity and shrewdness which reflects well on their personality. Those are the type of people we are looking to offer opportunities to, as they see the world in a pragmatic way.

In addition, we are interested in being able to train young talent in the values and practices we expect at Haines Watts – it is rewarding to see them develop into people who can really advise and help other people. Having a degree doesn’t always give those personal skills that we look for.

Accountancy skills – numeracy, accountability, planning and organisation and business acumen – are very transferrable. So we’re confident the training we provide will result in a long and rewarding career, either with us or elsewhere.

We have an established trainee programme here, as well as manager and partner level development programmes, that works well for us as a business and is a key part of facilitating growth in the SME market, as well as supporting our longer-term ambitions.

We recruit apprentices through close relationships with local colleges and schools, working with tutors to identify potential candidates with the necessary attributes – intellectually but also attitudinally, for that transition between education and work environments.

We are excited to see our apprentices develop into the advisors of the future. An annual intake ensures an ongoing peer group to learn from, for shared experiences and the mutual support which improves the chances of successful completion.

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