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Why training future accountants and business professionals is an integral part of HB Accountants business

HB Accountant has always had a passion for recruiting and developing young talent. This passion is rooted in our 100+ year history and is evidenced by 5 of our managers, including Karen, one of our Directors, all starting HB as part of a training scheme. Karen, Catherine, Karen, Colin, and Barrie, all former trainees and with over 131 combined years of HB experience between them, are giving back by training the next generation. 

“We see the multiple benefits as an employer by taking on apprentices – from growing talent and skill sets, to filling skills gaps and aiding employee retention whilst helping to level up opportunities for young people across the economic divide. Supporting young people in our local community, developing new skills and nurturing young talent is something we are very proud of.”      

Karen Chase Director

Today, the Apprenticeship Scheme is an integral part of our business strategy. In fact, our apprentices are so fundamental for enabling future growth, we have developed an innovative and bespoke Apprentice Programme that builds the skills and aptitude we need. We target local people who are keen to learn a new skill and forge a career path. We also offer work experience for those considering this career and are proud to be an ICAEW Authorised Training Employer – a necessary recognition to train accountants.

Since 2012, the firm has supported 14 apprentices: 11 in Accountancy studying for AAT (Association of Accounting), 2 in Business Administration, and 1 in Marketing.  These are young people who gained qualifications, enjoyed on-job training and developed professional and personal skills. Today we have 6 apprentices, who make up 40% of our team – and we’re looking for more! 

This year we have been recognised as part of the Top 50 SME Apprenticeship Employers for 2023 by the Department of Education cementing our reputation in the local business community as the apprenticeship firm. Our Bespoke Apprenticeship Programme has been so successful, other businesses ask for advice on how to replicate it.

How our apprenticeship journey started

Our first ever apprentice was Brad, whom we met at a talk for Year 12 A Level Business Studies students. Brad approached us looking for work experience and we offered him an apprenticeship the following year once he’d completed his A’Levels.  

After Brad, and as we took on more accountancy apprentices, we won a series of awards including Hertford Regional College Outstanding Employer of the Year 2014/2015. Our apprentices won too! Ryan was announced as the Outstanding Accounting Apprentice 2017, and Charlotte won FSB Herts Apprentice of the Year in 2016 and Hertford Regional College Apprentice of the Year 2015. Charlotte joined us as a business administration apprentice, who whilst working with us, realised a passion for marketing so we pivoted her apprenticeship to include a marketing focus.  

We continue to be recognised for our Apprenticeship Scheme as we train our current batch of apprentices, Callum, Abby, Max, Matt, Cameron and Sophie. For the past two years, we have been Highly Commended by the Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce for our training and apprenticeship programmes. We continue to invest in training with our most recent apprentice, Sophie, who joined us in October 2023 as our Business Administration apprentice. Her enthusiasm and positive vibes are already making an impact. 

Whilst apprenticeships are very important, we recognise the value in providing support to our young people in many ways. We value the newly introduced T Levels for 16-18 year olds and this year, welcomed a T Level student for their 9 week work placement. We employed a young, local person via the Government’s Kickstart scheme. We attend careers fairs at four local secondary schools and council-run initiatives, have ongoing engagement with local colleges, offer work experience, run mock interviews, and offer bespoke careers advice for local teenagers. We have even produced a Finance Guide for Teens that we distribute for free to local schools. 

Young people gain from being an apprentice.

Whilst employing apprentices supports our business strategy, joining our family-oriented practice delivers a whole suite of benefits for the young person. We ensure that the apprenticeship is more than just a job. It helps set the stage for a successful career with opportunities for growth and advancement.  

  • Guidance: Ongoing support from experienced accountants who are invested in your success
  • Learning: Continuous training to enhance your skills and keep you up-to-date with industry trends
  • Exposure: A chance to work with a diverse clientele, expanding your understanding of various business sectors
  • Work-Life Balance: Team HB ensures that each apprentice feels an integral part of the team as well as offering a range of team activities and days out, personal mentoring and support, and opportunities to grow as an individual.

Are you interested in becoming or hiring an apprentice?

If you’d like to learn more about apprenticeships and talk to our current crop of apprentices, give us a call. We are always happy to share our experiences and opportunities. If you’d like to explore starting an apprenticeship with us, don’t be shy – reach out to us. We’re genuinely happy to talk.

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HB Accountants is the trading name of HBAS Limited, a company registered in England with registration number 5085258. The registered office of HBAS Limited is Plumpton House, Plumpton Road, Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire EN11 0LB, England. Registered for VAT number 866062806.