Well-respected and boasting excellent benefits, apprenticeship schemes in Finance can offer students the ability to escape the classroom and gain invaluable practical experience in one of the UK’s most successful and prominent sectors. As well as working with a competitive salary, Finance apprenticeships offer students who are out of full-time education the opportunity to work towards important qualifications alongside invaluable work experience – all while dodging hefty University tuition fees.
With internationally recognised finance companies offering an abundance of apprenticeship opportunities across roles such as Banking/Building societies, Insurance, Pensions, Investments, Corporate Treasury and Risk Analysis, Finance apprenticeships offer an attractive pathway to a career that both interests you and provides rewarding benefits. Encouraging skills in problem solving, an attention to detail, a good creative mind and an eagerness and curiosity with the sector, employers normally aim to have apprentices thrown right into the action, dealing personally with business clients and solving complex issues – all of which will see you gaining expert knowledge in a specialist field of your choice.
Designed for school leavers, undergraduate students, or students aged above 16 out of full-time education, Finance apprenticeships boast an ‘earn-while-you-learn’ programme, allowing for apprentices to earn a wage as well as gain a professional qualification. While Finance apprenticeships may be a sector full of complex challenges, apprenticeship schemes will allow you to showcase and develop your professionalism and specialist knowledge. Depending on the employer and company, apprenticeships in the Finance sector can vary from Intermediate and Advanced Apprenticeships (Level 2, 3) to Higher and Degree Apprenticeships (Level 4 onwards), which could see you gain a Diploma in your sector of choice and, if applicable, be sponsored to study and hone your skills at a University.
Normally, Intermediate and Advanced apprenticeships in the Finance sector will find you working as an ‘Assistant’, introducing you to the world of work-based learning through tasks that could find you (depending on the company) ‘trouble-shooting’ for clients, filing invoices, or working with various different programmes to process costs. In comparison, companies searching for Higher apprentices and above will normally have candidates incorporating more advanced skills and qualifications into their roles, dealing with clients and assisting with other financial processes.
For example, companies like BPP, which offer Advanced and Intermediate apprenticeships in Finance, aim to provide their apprentices with a valuable introduction to the sector, offering options to advance through the company. In contrast, larger and more established Finance companies like Deloitte, PWC and EY, which normally offer apprenticeships for Levels 4 and above, aim to throw their candidates among the action straight away, providing apprentices with practical experience dealing with clients’ and their affairs. Nevertheless, no matter what level of apprenticeship you decide to enter, the salary will be competitive, and the benefits will find you working towards a successful career in the sector.
Overall, depending on which level of an apprenticeship scheme you plan on applying for, the requirements for finance apprenticeships vary quite largely from company to company. For example, some companies offering Level 2 Apprenticeship schemes search for personal skills over previous qualifications, whereas others require 4 GCSE grades A-C including English and Maths. In contrast, those schemes above Level 2 require different qualifications. For example, in Deloitte’s BrightStart Higher Apprenticeship scheme, candidates require at least 104 UCAS points (before 2017 – 260 after 2017) and GCSE’s in English Language (4 if in 2017 or C if before) and Maths (6 if 2017 and B if before), but again, requirements will vary based on specialist roles. More established apprenticeships at Levels 5 and above will require at least three A-Levels, five Scottish Highers or equivalent, and will search for an attitude that reflects the company – so doing your research and bringing strong personal skills to interviews will place you in good stead.
However, regarded as one of the most fiercely competitive apprenticeships on offer, places for Finance & Business apprenticeships will be scarce, but if you do acquire an apprenticeship position in the sector, it will be an incredibly valuable experience – offering competitive pay and vital experience in a workplace.
- By Max Lewis