For many, the idea of an ‘accountancy apprenticeship’ immediately conjures up an image of a corporate accountancy practise. However, this is not necessarily the case.
Professional services apprenticeships ‘in industry’ account for circa 30% of EMA Training’s accountancy apprenticeship placements, and this blog explores how the logistics industry have utilised the scheme to excellent effect, using EMA Training’s partnership with The Silver X Group as an example.
In October2020, The Silver X Group completed the acquisition of Bow Distribution &Warehousing Ltd, a Logistics business based on the same Industrial Estate as Silver X, near Alfreton. Bow primarily offers a premium delivery service for palletised freight through a national pallet network – alongside haulage &warehousing services. These compliment the existing service offering at Silver X nicely, and bring Bow’s 20 + years of experience and reputation in the area.
Talking to Silver X Group’s Finance Director, James Foskett, he explained how hiring A Level graduate, James Bird, as an Accountancy Apprentice, had positively impacted the company: “Having acquired Bow, one of the first things we did was merge the two Accounts functions, this happened in the second week of James’ apprenticeship – so no doubt quite daunting! James has been a really valuable part of the combined accounts team since then. He has been able to get involved in the integration of the two company’s systems & processes, teaching members of the teams how to use different pieces of software, helping to design process maps, presenting ideas and solutions to problems at team meetings & spending time with ops teams to understand the bigger picture – alongside that, James has helped with the first group newsletter, which has been a really good way to get to know the wider businesses & learn about what’s going on.”
Asking James Foskett about his experience in hiring an apprentice, he shared, “EMA have been fantastic in both the hiring process and the way the apprenticeships are run. We’ve always been very keen to bring apprentices into the business, both in the accounts function and elsewhere. We are a firm believer in developing our team and putting time & resource into the people who want to develop themselves professionally. Generally, the desire to learn you often get with early career apprentices mirrors that, and we’ve seen candidates achieve great things during their time with us. We have recently completed the recruitment process of a second apprentice to join our accounts team, and I’m sure the new starter will show as much potential as James has, and no doubt become an equally integral part of the team.”
With apprenticeships being 20% study and 80%work, Apprentices are equipped to develop effectively throughout their course. Through the support and guidance from their Trainers, Apprentices will potentially be able to bring new skills and fresh ideas to their departments whilst learning the ways of the company. James Bird, the Accountancy Apprentice with Silver X Group has been put forward for Apprentice Of The Year by his Mentor and Trainer Hollie Newton, due to his outstanding work for the company. James is on the Assistant Accountant Level 3 apprenticeship, learning with EMA Training.
Hollie explained why James deserves the nomination, “In terms of his growth in the workplace, the impact that he has had on the business in the short time he has been here is impressive, so I genuinely look forward to seeing where his apprenticeship takes him over the next few years. The reporting and internal policies that James has implemented and continues to use will be saving the company time and money, in turn allowing Silver X to grow further.”
Whether it be in the logistics, manufacturing, engineering or healthcare sectors, all organisations will have support functions such as finance, IT, and marketing.
If you would like some more information about how your company could benefit from an apprentice, please get in touch with our team who will help you explore your options. [email protected] [email protected]