Solving Finance skills shortages (training not hiring your way out)

Date: 22/01/2019
Author: Lewis Charlesworth
Company: Kaplan Financial

92% of employers say skill shortages are negatively affecting productivity, employee satisfaction and turnover - Hays, 2018

Finance training has never had so much attention. With the introduction of the new Apprenticeship Standards, leading employers have been allowed to have their say in what’s included in a finance training programme.

They no longer focus on just the technical qualification, but now deliver the important softer skills that our accountants need to be the best in the marketplace.

The Chamber's strategic partners, Kaplan Financial, lay out their top reasons for employers to consider finance training for their employees, as a way to upskill their way out of skills shortages.

Six reasons from Kaplan Financial as to why structured finance training can benefit your business:

1) Improve team ethos and teamworking

Apprenticeship programmes often develop behavioural skills, or ‘softer’ skills, which are identified by employers as being important for enhanced business skills.

For example, an Assistant Accountant (Level 3) would also develop skills in areas such as: Teamwork, Communication, Problem Solving and Analysis.

2) Boost morale, focus and retention

Trainees tend to be motivated, flexible and loyal to a business. They have made an active choice to learn on the job and commit to a specific career, meaning they are often personally invested in your company.

Employees will recognise the investment that’s been made in them, boosting staff retention and morale.

3) Cost effective and low risk

The availability of new Apprenticeship standards, coupled with the generous government funding support, means opting to upskill your workforce costs a lot less than you think.

If you're a non, or marginal, Levy payer, up to 90%* of the cost of the Apprenticeship will be funded by the Government. Or if you are a Levy payer you could use your Levy to fund this training.

Because the Apprenticeships are now built around well proven, internationally recognised qualifications such as ACA (ICAEW) you can have confidence in their quality and impact.

4) Impact in the workplace

The programme is structured to enable the learner to apply their new skills to their job. Great for productivity as your staff can quickly and securely put their new learning to work.

To help your apprentice through these elements, Kaplan Financial have online e-learning sessions and one-day workshops. These sessions help your trainee think about how they can apply themselves more effectively in their role.

According to the Government’s ‘Employer Guide to Apprenticeships’:

“Employers who have an established apprenticeship programme report that productivity in their workplace had improved by 79%”.

5) Turning line managers into development managers

A big part of any good manager’s workload is the ongoing development of their staff. This can be time consuming,

Apprenticeships can reduce this burden by providing a framework for staff assessment and development. You will be well supported with a qualified training provider, such as Kaplan. That support comes in the form of tutors and talent coaches. They will help your employee to take responsibility for their progress, and ensure they have the support needed to succeed.

6) Empower employees to progress as far as they want

Apprenticeship training now incorporates Professional qualifications.

From Level 2 all the way through to full Chartered status, your staff can progress as far as they want. The only requirement being a clear need for the training, and the relevant entry qualifications.

Working with a training provider that offers all levels of training means that progression through multiple levels will be a smooth transition.

An Apprenticeship overhaul

In the past few years Apprenticeship funding has been overhauled, which has removed many of the restrictions on eligibility for Apprenticeship training.

This opens up a route for employees of any age or background, making training more accessible and fairer amongst your wider workforce. For many, this is a more attractive and affordable way to upskill as opposed to the expensive and risky recruitment process.

*After the recent budget, this could be set to increase to 95% in 2019

Kaplan Financial is the largest private provider of Apprenticeships in the Accountancy sector. Kaplan has a wealth of experience in designing and delivering Accountancy Apprenticeship programmes. To find out more about how they could help your business to overcome skills shortages as you approach 2019, please follow: https://www.gmchamber.co.uk/membership/strategic-partners/kaplan/

For more information on the financial training which they offer, visit: https://kaplan.co.uk/apprenticeships/accountancy-tax