Azets, the UK’s largest regional accountancy and business advisors to SMEs, is celebrating its 443 apprentices across the UK as it demonstrates its commitment to ‘Build the Future’ – the main theme of National Apprenticeship Week this year.

In total, Azets have over 900 students studying professional qualifications and 443 of them are doing this on the apprenticeship route. 26 of these apprentices are based across Azets offices in the North East (Alnwick, Crook, Durham, Guisborough, Hexham, Seaton Burn, Sunderland, Wynyard).

Investing in the next generation of talent is a key strategy for Azets, as it looks to further expand its offer and continue to deliver a high-quality service locally to businesses across the UK.

Azets is able to offer a varied career path for joiners, with the option to work across different parts of the country and to specialise in different aspects of accounting and business advisory, from general practice and tax to corporate finance, trade and restructuring.

The continuation of Azets’ graduate and school leaver national recruitment drive, against the backdrop of the current pandemic, wider economic challenges and the UK adjusting to post-Brexit life, is also a reflection of growing demand for tailored business advice and services, as companies and individuals look to navigate through the increased levels of uncertainty and change.

Azets has a range of apprenticeship offerings but there are broadly two options: the school/college leaver or graduate programmes.

The school/college leaver route is a 6 year programme which includes two apprenticeship programme leading to the student becoming qualified in their AAT and then moving onto their chartered accountancy qualification (ACA, ACCA, CTA or ICAS).

The graduate route is a 3 or 4 year programme where students study toward their chartered accountancy qualification (ACA, ACCA, CTA or ICAS).

An apprenticeship with Azets and its training partners provides a bespoke programme that combines qualifications, skills and behaviours training. Everyone gets a talent coach, and each new student gets a buddy and substantial amount of on the job training, giving them the opportunity to pave a career path for life.

David Whitson-Black, Group Head of Talent Development for Azets, said:

“Despite the current economic backdrop, we remain committed to investing in people and to developing the talent of the younger generation, who will be the business leaders and advisors of tomorrow. Young people have been disproportionately hit by the economic impact of the pandemic, so it is extremely pleasing to be able to kickstart the careers of so many and offer them a bright and interesting future.

“Investing in our people and their careers is a key strategy for Azets, benefiting them as well as positioning the company well for the future, as we continue with our ambitious plans to grow the business and deliver a service of outstanding professional quality, that is both personalised and localised.”

Andrew Rowe, Partner at Azets in Wynyard started his career via an apprenticeship scheme with the North East Chamber. He said:

“At Azets we believe that there are real benefits to taking on apprentices into a modern and flexible workplace. We see it as a productive and effective way to grow talent. Apprentices bring a fresh perspective and new ideas, with fantastic IT skills that they have grown up with. We see apprentices as a way of developing long term careers for our team and this brings a feeling of belonging and a vital understanding of the goals of the firm.”

Chloe Heslop, an Azets apprentice based in the Wynyard office,  said:

“I was attracted to Azets as they had a strong focus on supporting apprentices with training, providing opportunities for professional development and a strong presence in the North East so it was a perfect fit for me. I get to work with some fantastic businesses in a variety of industries across the region and no two days are ever the same!”

“An apprenticeship is a great way to gain valuable experience in accounting and it allows me to gain the AAT qualification whilst doing it. I’ve been given lots of support, training and mentoring since joining Azets, everyone is really friendly. We’ve all been supplied with remote working equipment to make on the job learning  during the pandemic easier.”