Armstrong Watson Accountants, Business and Financial Advisers has been recognised amongst the UK’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers for the second year in a row.

This year the firm has been positioned at number 46 by the Department for Education  – up from 64 in 2022 – for having one of the best and most successful apprenticeship programmes in the country.

Employers are ranked not just on the number of apprentices they take on, but for their commitment to diversity and apprenticeship achievements.

Armstrong Watson has taken on trainees for as long as it has been in existence with some existing Partners starting out as students. In the past 12 months, it has seen a 100% increase in the number of students embarking on a career in accountancy, taking on a total of 63 apprentices on its fully-funded AAT/ATT, payroll and Chartered accountancy programmes. Meanwhile, there have also been 30 students who completed their qualifications.

Apprenticeships offer people of all ages and backgrounds the chance to gain the experience and skills needed to hit the ground running in their chosen career, while delivering the skilled workforce businesses need to grow and thrive.

Those who continue in their careers at Armstrong Watson have the opportunity to progress onto the ACA Graduate Scheme to become chartered accountants.

In early 2023 the firm strengthened its commitment to providing top-class apprenticeships by partnering with the Association of Apprentices, providing students with additional resources, access to advice and guidance and connecting them with other students and social groups.

Jane Kiernan, Head of Learning and Development, said: “It is a fantastic achievement to be listed amongst the top tier of the country’s most outstanding apprenticeship employers for a second year in a row and as a firm, we’re incredibly proud of this recognition.

“We have a long history of developing future talent through our apprenticeship schemes in our accountancy, tax and payroll service lines, and our apprentices provide us with an incredible pool of talent, many of whom go on to achieve very long and successful careers across the business.

“We are very proud of our commitment to apprenticeships and are looking forward to taking on our next generation this summer.”

One in five of Armstrong Watson’s employees are accountancy, tax or payroll apprentices and the business is looking to recruit further apprentices for 2024.