All sectors have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic and none more so than education, which has seen significant disruption across all schools, colleges and education providers. At Starting Off, our weekly AAT classroom sessions stopped running on March 18, and overnight, like many providers, we had to adapt our tuition to a remote model. AAT exams were suspended for three months and we worked hard to keep learners motivated as they had to move onto studying their next module, unable to take the exam for the one they had been studying.
Fortunately, most of our learners have responded positively to the change and have shown great resilience in adapting to our Zoom timetable and continuing with their AAT qualifications. Indeed, our exams results since socially distanced exams have been able to resume, have been outstanding, a testament to the hard work of our students and tutors and the support of our employers in difficult circumstances. The AAT is a highly valued qualification across the finance industry which many learners rely on for progression in the sector and it was important that we did everything we could to keep our accounting apprentices working towards their goals.
The summer months are normally our busiest time, with school leavers registering for employment and training, and this year we have seen a surge in applications for accounting as more and more young people look to the apprenticeship route as an alternative to university. Accounting is a profession that lends itself brilliantly to be being studied in a vocational setting, with the AAT qualification route and the accounting apprenticeship now one of the most popular apprenticeships
on the market.
Unfortunately, this year we knew that job opportunities were going to be slower coming in as the economy gradually comes out of lockdown, and so, to support the young people registering with us we have run a free Introduction to Accounting programme over the summer. The course covers the fundamentals of double entry bookkeeping and for successful candidates means a fast-track route to starting their AAT journey.
One candidate who successfully completed the course is Sean Wright, who has now started with Northampton Partnership Homes as a Finance Apprentice. By completing the Introduction to Accounting programme Sean has been able to start his placement with some accounting knowledge already and has been able to start his AAT directly at Level 3. Sean feels the course has given him a head start in his role at Northampton Partnership Homes and his manager Katie said it definitely made a positive difference when he was being interviewed for the position.
If you feel your business could support an accounts apprentice, then please do get in touch with Starting Off. Extra Government grants are currently available for employers taking on apprentices up to January 31, 2021. If you are interested in finding out more about apprenticeships, contact firstname.lastname@example.org