SECTOR FOCUS: SKILLS Five reasons why apprentices mean growth

Thomas Westcott has a hard- earned reputation as a “centre of excellence” for training bright, ambitious young people looking for successful careers in accountancy services. The firm, with offices in Exeter

and Plymouth, has just announced its largest-ever intake of students who will spend the next three years training for their ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) qualification – the next big step on their paths towards full chartered status. As one of the region’s most

successful and fast-growing professional services firms, Thomas Westcott has long recognised there is a strong business case for taking on apprentices to both underpin growth and plan for the future. Shona Godefroy, Deputy

Managing Partner, outlines five reasons why she believes developing apprenticeship programmes in the business is important:

1. Succession planning Apprenticeships are all part of a wider, long-term succession planning strategy. There are no “fast-track” options. Apprentices hoping to become successful accountants must complete a minimum of three years’ training.

successful career breeds loyalty, and you will reap the rewards down the road. Especially for those operating in a competitive market, where well- trained, high-performing and motivated people are at a premium, the value in recruiting, training and retaining your own people cannot be underestimated.

3. Boosting business According to the National Apprenticeship Service, 81% people surveyed said they would be more inclined to pay for the products or services of a company that took on apprentices.

Above: Thomas Westcot apprentices Right: Shona Godefroy

Not all will make the grade, and occasionally we lose people to competitors. But we know that those who work hard, achieve their professional qualifications and show true loyalty to our firm and its clients will stand us in good stead in the coming years.

2. Loyalty and retention Apprentices who have stayed the distance to complete their

4. Improved productivity Apprentices keen to “learn the ropes” can shoulder many tasks for your business, freeing up your time and letting you get on with those bigger, more strategic activities.

5. Breathe new life into

professional qualifications are often highly motivated and show dedication towards helping us achieve our aims. Demonstrating to an apprentice

that you are committed to helping them up the ladder towards a

your operations Apprentices are full of enthusiasm and keen to make a positive and creative impact to their new working environment. This is often infectious, breathing new life into your business.


30 Chamber Profile September/October 2018

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