Wilson Howe Chartered Accountants and Business Advisors are a small business with big plans and their apprentices are an integral part of their growth strategy. They see apprentices as an investment for the future and they are really looking after that investment. It is the way they nurture their apprentices and the clear progression routes they offer which has earned them the title of our Employer of the Month for March.
Sam Coates is studying for his level 3 AAT qualification and Drew Thorpe, the latest recruit to the team who started with the business in September, is working towards a level 2 AAT qualification.
Both accountancy apprentices working in the business get the chance to develop their skills working closely alongside Matt Howe, the Partner business owner. They are also getting a real insight into how to manage and grow an accountancy firm working with business Co-founder, Emma Howe.
The approach of letting the apprentices experience the accounts process from start to finish has really helped them to flourish and gain a deeper understanding of the skills they need to eventually achieve Chartered status.
Emma and Matt Howe, owners of Wilson Howe told us why their apprentices are so important to them.
“As a small business, apprenticeships are a great fit because they allow us to take on people who are keen and want to learn. They want to progress with us and we can shape them with our values and business ethics. We get to establish good habits at the same time as helping them to get the skills they need to pass exams and get the qualifications they need to become the best accountants.”
“We both followed the university route to get our qualifications and came out with debt. Matt then had another three years of exams before achieving his chartered status. We’ve worked out that Sam and Drew will be able to get to that point much quicker because of the work-based route they have chosen. It makes sense for us to develop them at this pace because it fits with our plans to build the business and it is perfect for them too.”
“We try to develop an environment where we can give each other constructive feedback and where Sam and Drew can ask for support. We’re amazed with just how much they both bring to business. Because of the way we work, both of our apprentices are getting an insight into developing a business which they just wouldn’t get if they were at university. We think it is really important that their extra effort is rewarded so we give bonuses when the apprentices pass exams and if they bring in new clients.”
“Working with Learning Unlimited gives us the support we need to get the most out of the apprenticeship. When we recruited Drew we were inundated with applicants so it was good to have the team there to help us screen and do checks. It is also great to know that we get lots of feedback from the work-based tutor who visits us regularly. We all know exactly where we are and what needs to be done next which means Sam and Drew make good progress.”
Mark Bennington, Vice Principal Commercial Services & Enterprise of the Chesterfield College Group, presented the award to Emma and Matt yesterday and commented;
“It is fantastic to hear what an impact the apprentices are having on your business and I want to congratulate you on the way that you are developing the careers of these young people by offering them some amazing opportunities in a very supportive environment.”