22nd September 2015

BUSINESS advisers UNW are on the look out for young talent to join its Newcastle firm as its current apprentices and graduates are excelling and being recognised nationally.

Fast-growing chartered accountants UNW, which now employs over 100 staff, are celebrating top marks achieved by a former apprentice and a national award being achieved in the recent Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) exams.

Meanwhile, the St. James’ Boulevard-based firm has continued in the top 7% of accredited organisations across the UK – and one of just 53 in the North-East – to be credited again with the sought after Investors in People Gold standard.

The latest news forms part of UNW’s business growth strategy of developing a strong pipeline of future talent by investing in those in the early stage of their careers in tax, audit & assurance, corporate finance and accounting services.

UNW staff partner Steve Lant said: “Our apprentice and graduate programmes have grown significantly over the years in response to the growth of the firm. Five years ago when we started our apprenticeship programme it won awards and it has got better every year since.

“We recognise that having our IIP Gold status confirmed again, gives a good external verification of quality but there are lots of other indicators – on one day recently all thirteen of our students who were awaiting results from exams as part of their Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) training were successful, Brittney Marshall won the prestigious Knox Prize for being the top performer in the country in the tax exam and Ralf Hall must have missed the national prize in the business tax exam by only one or two percent.”

Ralf who joined UNW five years ago as an apprentice and is now a tax consultant, achieved an impressive 92% in his business planning tax exam. He said: “When I joined UNW as an apprentice five years ago, I was actually supposed to be going to university and doing a degree.

“A lot of people who want to become a chartered accountant think they have no choice other than to go to uni but that’s just not the case. There are obviously no guarantees after an apprenticeship has finished but, for the most part, if you have worked hard and the firm is happy with you, then there is no reason you wouldn’t get kept on.

“I am actually quite staggered so many people want to go to university when there are fantastic professional apprenticeships available like these, which offer great on-the-job training and support, and still take you to the same end goal.

“If someone is thinking about applying for the tax apprenticeship but they have a university place, I’d say do what I did and defer your place, earn while you learn and save yourself from all the long term student debt.”

Steve Lant said “Whilst excellent exam results can grab the attention, the most important part of the training our apprentices and graduates receive is in the office not the classroom. Our organisation has a very strong coaching culture and our highly experienced people work alongside our graduates and apprentices with an emphasis on passing on their skills and experience. This together with a varied and dynamic client base gives a great learning opportunity for the right people.

“In order to ensure we get the right people on our apprentice and graduate programmes which start in September 2016, we are starting the recruitment process soon. Potential candidates for the apprentice programme will be offered the opportunity to spend some time on work experience in different parts of the firm so they can get a good feel for what it is like. It is a very important decision for successful candidates whether they will choose to go to university or accept a place on the programme and we want to make sure they can make a fully informed decision.”

Investors in People is the UK’s leading accreditation for business improvement through people management, and provides a wealth of resources for businesses to innovate, improve and grow, with a focus on good people making great business.

Head of Investors in People Paul Devoy said: “We’d like to congratulate UNW on their Gold standard. Such a high level of accreditation is the sign of great people management practice, and demonstrates a commitment to staff development and shows an organisation committed to being the very best it can be. UNW should be extremely proud of their achievement.”

Anyone interested in a UNW apprenticeship or place on its Graduate Recruitment Programme should visit the ‘get in touch’ section for more information at unw.co.uk or email: recruitment@unw.co.uk.

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