·  86% say an apprenticeship helped them find work

·  7 in 10 apprentices say the experience of an apprenticeship has helped them forge their dream career

·  Over half of over 55’s believe it’s important to learn whilst earning


To mark the start of National Apprenticeship Week (6th-12th Feb), the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has conducted new research revealing that participating in an apprenticeship has had a positive impact on people’s careers with nearly 4 in 5 (83%) of apprentices surveyed say they would recommend doing an apprenticeship to others.

In fact, three-quarters (71%) of people who have studied or are currently studying an apprenticeship say the experience has enabled them to pursue their dream career. The main benefits apprentices stated were the ability of earning whilst learning (46%), as well as gaining real world experience (38%).

Research from AAT highlights that 2 in 5 (40%) of UK adults believe that school leavers should concentrate on combining learning with being paid as their main priority this year, followed by further education (22%), paid work (20%) and taking time out (7%). Moreso, over half (51%) of over 55s believe that learning whilst earning is important.

It appears the training-on-the-job schemes are not just for young people, with over a quarter of people (27%) who started an apprenticeship after the age of 25 did so to change career into a new industry, while 4 in 5 (80%) between the age of 25-34 felt that an apprenticeship catered for their learning needs better than full-time education.

In the 2022-23 financial year, AAT has so far seen a 40% rise in people starting entry level apprenticeships, showing the rapid growth and popularity of the route. The average salary of accounts/finance assistant apprenticeship Level 2 in 2022 was £16,311 which rose to £18,296 upon completion.

Anthony Clarke, Business Development Manager at AAT, commented: “It’s great to see more people embracing apprenticeships as a bridge between education and the working world. With the information we all have at our finger tips, there are more options than ever and by evaluating them, everyone can choose what is right for them – for a lot of people it’s going to be the ability to earn and learn at the same time with an apprenticeship.

“Research shows that going to university is getting more expensive all the time, and students on average will lose almost £50,000 between tuition and maintenance costs – while they could make almost £50,000 with three years on an entry level accounting apprenticeship.

“By helping to retrain and offer qualifications to work in new sectors, apprentices can also be seen as the answers for businesses to innovate and grow their own talent, so it benefits both parties.”

The research was commissioned by AAT to mark National Apprenticeship Week.


The research for AAT was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 11/01/2023 and 13/01/2023 amongst a panel resulting in 2,002 UK adults & 504 Current and Former Apprentices respondingAll research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2019) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Data Protection Act (2018).

The apprenticeship salary survey was conducted by AAT and took place online between 24 October and 15 December 2022. There were 102 responses from unique organisations from England, Scotland and Wales. Contributors included 41 submissions from accountancy practices and 61 from employers in non-practice financial organisations.

New YTD EPA registrations to end of December 2022: Intermediate – Level 2: 1,063 + 306 on Previous year = 40%

The average salary of accounts/finance assistant apprenticeship level 2 was £16,311.  Completing level 2 increased that by £1,985.

About AAT 

·  AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) is the UK’s leading qualification and professional body for technical accountants and bookkeepers, and has around 130,000 members and students in over 100 countries. We have been helping people enter and develop their skills within the accounting sector for the past 40 years.

·  We offer a range of qualifications that are open to all regardless of previous education or age, such as the AAT Accounting Qualifications that provide a non-degree route into chartered accountancy, and the AAT Bookkeeping Qualifications that can support business growth through accurate and up-to-date financial records. Students encompass a wide range from school and college leavers, to older people hoping to change their career or learn the skills to run their own business.

·  An AAT Accountant is a qualified accounting professional with the practical and technical skills needed to support businesses with their accounting activities. Typical job roles of an AAT Accountant include: Financial Accountant, Commercial Analyst, Senior Finance Officer, Payroll Manager, VAT Accountant and Tax Supervisor. An AAT Accountant in the UK can sign off the accounts for small companies that meet two out of three of the criteria of turnover less than £10.2 million, total assets less than £5.1 million and less than 50 employees. Currently over half a million businesses trust AAT Accountants and AAT Bookkeepers to service their accounting requirements.

·  AAT awards around 80% of all technical qualifications in accounting in the UK, and generous exemptions are provided by many of the senior UK bodies including ACCA, CIPFA, ICAEW, CIMA and ICAS. As part of our ongoing commitment to service excellence, we’re proud to be a member of the Institute of Customer Service, the independent professional body for customer service.

·  AAT’s qualifications are internationally respected. AAT works hard to raise the profile of accounting technicians worldwide and their role in building stronger economies. Globally, in select economies, AAT plays a role in establishing, maintaining and raising professional standards of accountancy practice. See our international page for more information about options for international students.

Lisa Baker

Author Lisa Baker

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