If you are considering a role in public sector finance, there is an exciting new opportunity available from the All Wales Public Sector Finance Apprenticeship programme.
The programme is delivered in partnership with members of the Finance Skills Development Group which is aimed at developing finance leadership skills across the welsh public sector.
What is the All Wales Public Sector Finance Apprenticeship programme?
The All Wales Public Sector Finance Apprenticeship Programme has been designed as a collaboration between members of the Finance Skills Development Group, which is made up of public sector bodies across Wales. The bodies include Audit Wales, NHS Wales, Gwent Police, local government, Welsh Government and sponsored bodies and Fire and Rescue Services.
The programme is a three-year fixed term programme and offers apprentices the opportunity to train for the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) qualification from level 2 to level 4.
In addition to the AAT qualification, a dedicated public sector module is being developed to support the apprentices understanding of the specifics of finance and governance within a public sector context.
Alongside the professional training, apprentices will be provided with specific training to support their on-the-job learning. Apprentices will have a dedicated line manager, buddy, and mentor to support their learning and development. They will also participate in technical skills workshops, action learning activities and other All-Wales Public Sector Finance Apprenticeship programme events, including soft skills training and networking opportunities.
The unique part of the programme, however, is that apprentices will have the opportunity of spending time with other partner bodies of the programme.
Apprentices will spend the first year with their primary employer and then there are two six months secondments with other bodies, allowing them to experience other public sector functions and enabling them to find out how different public sector bodies work and understand the similarities and differences between organisations within the group.
Both the AAT qualification and the wider programme will give apprentices an excellent grounding to go on and complete a chartered accountancy qualification; and where an organisation runs a graduate trainee programme, apprentices will have the opportunity to apply for these schemes.
Who should apply?
The programme is open to applicants with A levels, interested in public finance, enjoys team working, is numerate and wants to progress their career further in accounting and/or auditing.
The programme is aimed at providing opportunities for school leavers, returners and those who do not have a university degree, and who are interested in pursuing a finance career. A key objective of the scheme is to attract the best talent from a wide and diverse range of backgrounds, encouraging people from different socio-economic backgrounds to apply. It is hoped that the opportunity for non-graduates to apply will help increase social inclusion and bring diversity into the workplace.
How do I apply?
Each organisation will run their own recruitment campaigns, but under the umbrella of the All-Wales Public Sector Finance Apprenticeship Programme. Further details are available on each participating bodies’ website.
The apprenticeship programme starts in September, with applications open in April.
To help candidates understand more about the scheme, the FSDG are running a live webinar (which will also be recorded to watch later) to explain the process of applying, the benefits of apprenticeships and what career opportunities are available. Candidates will also get the opportunity to hear from those who are either currently apprentices or have completed their apprenticeship. You can book your place on the webinar via the Audit Wales website.
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Marianne Curphey is an award-winning financial writer and columnist, and author of the book How Money Works. She worked as City Editor at The Guardian, deputy editor of Guardian online, and has worked for The Times, Telegraph and BBC.