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Sandwell Council investing in the future with Apprenticeships

Written by: Sandwell Council
Published on: 15 May 2024

Sandwell Council recognises that there is a potential future skills gap and are committed to developing future leaders; so back in 2020, the Council embarked on a collaboration with Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) to take on Trainee Accountant Graduate Apprentices. Utilising the Apprenticeship Levy fund, CIPFA were selected to deliver the level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship.

Here they talk about the apprenticeship and Jack shares his story .... 

The Council took a tripartite approach to facilitate knowledge-based learning, aligned to the job role to transfer learning into practical experience in the workplace. Their aim is to secure a future workforce ready to meet the organisation’s demands and grow their skills and knowledge base.

What is the CIPFA qualification?

The CIPFA qualification is the only public-sector finance qualification incorporating twelve modules from Management Accounting, Public Sector Financial Reporting, Tax and Law, resulting in an end-point assessment and a Strategic Case study.  It takes total dedication to complete such a programme, whilst holding down a full-time position.

What is the value of apprenticeship funding?

At Sandwell Council, they want to be the best public servants possible and by partnering with CIPFA they are developing young people to become future workforce leaders.

Here is one young person’s journey …

My name is Jack Fantom and I am currently on my fourth year here at Sandwell Council and can happily say that it is with great pleasure and call myself a fully qualified accountant. I started the level 7 Accountancy Professional Apprenticeship with CIPFA in February 2020.  In January 2024 I had the amazing news that I had passed my end-point assessment and final strategic case study to become a Chartered Public Accountant; with the support of my employer. This is a major personal success and a significant step in my professional career.

Once I had achieved my degree in Accountancy and Mathematics at the University of Keele, I was ready to pursue a career within finance. Following a well-earned break travelling around south east Asia for a few months, I returned and start a temporary employment job at a local manufacturing company where I gained workplace exposure and invaluable finance experience.

With this experience, I was a successful applicant for Sandwell Council’s Trainee Accountant Programme, where I began my CIPFA journey. After four years of late nights studying and 20% off the job training, I achieved my qualification with many thanks to my employer, my work place mentor and very supportive management.

The apprenticeship scheme was a huge motivating factor to choosing Sandwell as an employer and choosing to pursue an apprenticeship within public sector finance. The position I am now in is all thanks to the apprenticeship funding.

Jack Fantom, Chartered Public Accountant (CIPFA)

“Well done Jack, on completing this incredibly demanding qualification and making a fantastic contribution to the service, helping to future proof finance services within the public sector.” Claire Spencer, Assistant Director - Finance

To find out more about Sandwell Council and the roles they have available visit their employer page here.

To hear from more apprentices and view the current apprenticeship opportunities throughout the West Midlands visit our Apprenticeship Hub today!