Kickstart your career with an Apprenticeship

Skipping university for career success

‘The Times’ Student Opportunities section looks at how employers are wooing high-achieving school leavers and undergraduates with sponsored degrees, apprenticeships and accelerated development programmes. PwC has three fast-track programmes to develop high-potential school leavers and graduates, for example, while Grant Thornton is seeing a quadrupling of school leavers joining the firm compared with two years ago. The paper notes the prediction from the head of St Paul’s Girls’ School in London that in future the brightest pupils will opt for a job at 18 instead of going to university. Grant Thornton’s resourcing manager Richard Waite says the school leavers they’ve hired “are smashing the myth that to reach the top of an organisation you need to have gone to university.” Separately, the Independent’s Hamish McRae also looks at how a university degree is becoming a smaller part of the skillset employers such as the Big Four are focussing on when hiring trainees.

Source: The Times, The Independent

With A-level results week round the corner, many students will be considering their options for the future and no doubt the issue of whether or not to go to university will crop up.

Although in the past university was seen as the ‘obvious’ choice for many entering into the accountancy profession, there has been a shift in recent years towards apprenticeships. This route provides entry into the profession as a real and credible alternative to getting a degree.

There are clear reasons why more and more employers are now looking to recruit school and college leavers onto apprenticeships, recognising the benefits they bring. We’ve certainly come to realise how fantastic apprenticeships really are over the years and this is reflected in our intake numbers which have more than doubled since 2012.

We have had great success stories amongst our apprentices, with the majority going on to study further professional qualifications (not to mention within a shorter timeframe and without the need for a student loan). Trainees following this route have also shown that there are no barriers to progressing your career – just take a look at Jon and Will’s journey at BKL since completing their AAT qualification.

AAT trainee to Principal in 10 years
Jon Wedge: AAT trainee to Principal in 10 years
Will Brown: AAT trainee to Supervisor in 5 years
Will Brown: AAT trainee to Supervisor in 5 years

We plan to continue to build on the success of our apprenticeships by steadily increasing our intakes and expanding the number of vacancies on offer – not just in our audit and accounts teams but also in other business areas such as VAT and Tax Compliance which both offer brilliant career prospects.

If you are considering your options for the future and want to find out more about kickstarting your career as an apprentice at BKL you can view our current vacancies by visiting our careers page.



Sam Inkersole

In 2022, Sam won the Taxation’s Rising Star award at the Taxation Awards in and was named in the Accountancy Age 35 Under 35.

Jon Wedge

While Jon’s client work focuses on the financial services sector, he also oversees the firm’s assurance service, as well as supporting the trainees following in his footsteps.


Elana joined us in 2017 as an ACA trainee, after graduating from Durham University where she had studied languages. She is now a manager in our assurance team.


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