apprenticeship programmes

Apprenticeships - Professional Services

Going to university and pursuing a degree is not the only option available to bright students. With the significant cost of a degree combined with its potential devaluation, you may want at least to consider your options. There are a number of firms offering very attractive School Leaver Programmes. These are well paid and you may find run parallel to many graduate schemes. They have the attraction of being less competitive at A level entry, therefore gaining you entry into an organisation that you may struggle to secure as a graduate, when the competition is fiercer. You will also be debt free. These schemes are becoming increasingly popular with employers.

Schemes include:

Professional Services: Accenture Apprenticeships

accentureThe Accenture Apprenticeship Programme consists of 3 years combined work and study. You will rotate across three different areas of business throughout your time on the course.



  • Application Maintenance: the area of the business that provides support and expertise to clients’ to ensure operations are delivered and maintained without any problems. On this rotation you’ll hone technical development skills and get a full understanding of service delivery.        
  • Service Management: the single point of contact for all clients who use Accenture IT services. On this rotation you’ll be providing technical support to users. 
  • Testing: the area that verifies that systems or products meet the functional, performance, design and implementation specifications.

If you feel however that one area suits you better, then you will be able to concentrate more on that specialism.

Training & Development

As well as your on-the-job experience you will have structured training delieverd by Newcastle College (NCG) and Northumbria University, as you work towards Level 3 and Level 4 apprenticeships. In your first year, your study with NCG will be concentrated in two ’semesters’. During those terms you’ll cover units that include Computer Systems, Data Analysis and Design, and Website Production. It’s not all about the technical side though, and you’ll also get training in communication skills.

In your second and third years, you will study for a Foundation degree in IT with Northumbria University covering topics such as Web Technologies and Application Development for Mobile Devices and also undertake work based projects. Meanwhile, your Accenture training will cover areas such as Software Design and Development, and Systems Analysis and Design.

Over the 3 years you will complete 200 days of training — half delivered by our education training partner (NCG) and half delivered by Accenture specialists.   

You’ll emerge at the end of your apprenticeship with sharp business acumen, a wealth of technological knowledge, and a Higher Apprenticeship for IT, Software, Web & Telecoms Professionals which includes a Foundation Degree and Edexcel Level 4 BTEC Diploma in Professional Competence for IT and Telecoms Professionals (QCF)

Employment Details

In the first year you’ll earn £7,800 and £12,305 in your second and third years. You’ll also receive a £2,000 bonus when you finish. You will also have access to a nearby canteen and subsidised gym.

The apprenticeships are all based at Accenture's UK Delivery Centre in Cobalt Business Park, just outside Newcastle. This is one of Accenture’s centres for excellence — and is particularly focused on technology services delivery. 

You don’t need any specific qualifications to apply to the apprenticeship scheme. You apply by sending a CV and covering letter via the website. This is followed by a telephone interview and assessment morning. 

Professional Services: Cap Gemini

capgemminiCap Gemini offer 2 degree apprenticeships. One is in Technology and the other in Business. They are both 4.5 years in length and you will study for a degree at Aston University as well as working. The degree has three, eighteen month stages, each equivalent to a normal academic year. Each stage comprises three six-month blocks. This pattern of study is designed to fit around full-time employment and uses a blended learning approach, which mixes distance learning, work-based study and attendance at on-campus study days.

For the technology role you will study a BSc (Honours) in Digital & Technology Solutions degree, knowing you have the skills and experience to have a rewarding career in the Tech sector. Roles can include Software Developer, Technical Applications Consultant, Insights & Data Consultant or Cyber Security.

For the business role, you will study for a BSc (Honours) in Leadership & Business Management degree, complementing your role as a Business Analyst, Service Delivery Analyst, Functional Applications Consultant or Project Management.

To apply, you will need a minimum of 7 GCSE's A* – C including Maths and English as well as at least CCC grades at A-level or a minimum of 1 Distinction at BTEC.

Professional Services: Clarksons Trainee Shipbroker Programme

clarksonClarksons is the world’s leading provider of integrated shipping services, bringing connections and experience to an international client base. They offer a Trainee Broker Programme, which trains you to become a shipbroker. 

In-depth training starts with an induction followed by a structured work placement process at their head office in London.  During this process you will learn on-the-job skills from the experts.  Throughout your training you will gain access to industry-leading shipping technology and will attend ongoing lectures that are conducted by specialist trainers and external experts. Site visits to UK ports are also arranged to learn about the range of services provided. After successfully completing the initial training period you will have the opportunity to further develop and to learn on-the-job.  You will be given the opportunity to undertake further studies, for example the Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers. 

Entry Requirements:

Clarksons recognise that you may lack practical experience and they therefore concentrate on hiring people who best demonstrate the core elements of being a successful ship broker. Trainees will be chosen based mainly on their:

  • Aspirations to become a ship broker
  • Lateral thinking/opportunity spotting/innovative ideas
  • Team working skills
  • Negotiating/influencing skills
  • Knowledge and understanding of ship broking

You will need to demonstrate that you have what it takes to become a successful broker, which will start with the first impression you make with your application. Thier interviewing panel is keenly aware of the particular "it" factor they seek during the selection process.

Professional Services: Deloitte Bright Start Programme

deloitteThe BrightStart programme is available for students who have completed A levels (or equivalent), but have decided that university is no longer the preferred choice or available option for them. BrightStart is an established and highly structured five-year programme, where you’ll benefit from excellent training at every step, plus full support to gain professional qualifications that are respected and recognised right across the business world

The programme accepts students who have achieved at least 300 UCAS points at A-level (or equivalent).

The scheme recruits c100 high achieving school leavers and provides the opportunity to gain a full professional business qualification. The professional qualification you will be working towards depends on the business area you join. You will be studying for professional exams in tandem with your everyday projects.

Opportunities exist within: Audit, Consulting, Risk Consulting, Restructuring Services, Tax and Real Estate.

Your day to day role will differ depending on which area of the business you join. You will spend time working for clients either based at their offices or the Deloitte office. You will also spend time preparing for your exams and attending internal training courses.

What are the entry requirements:

  • GCSE (or equivalent) Maths at grade B or above and English Language at grade C or above
  • Predicted 300 UCAS points from A-Levels (or equivalent) excluding General Studies for Audit and Tax
  • Predicted 320 UCAS points from three A-Levels (or equivalent) excluding General Studies for Corporate Finance and Consulting

Apply online.

Learn more about Deloittes assessment process and online tests HERE.

Professional Services: EY Business Apprenticeship

eylogoEY provides the Business Apprenticeship. If you want to get into the business world but don't want to go to university, the Business Apprenticsehip gives you access to a combination of training and work experience. You’ll go straight into a full-time job with a great starting salary, giving you independence and responsibility — without going to university first. When you qualify, you’ll have the same professional qualification you’d normally study for after university, and you’ll earn this sooner than a graduate, with the same career options to look forward to. You’ll be given challenging work on a diverse range of projects and clients, developing a host of transferable skills.

The Business Apprenticeship is available in a number of business areas including Assurance, Tax, Consulting and Transactions. 


The training for the qualifications takes up to five years, developing the skills and experience needed to complete the work and study towards a chartered qualification in the service line that you have applied to. In your first two years you will study towards theICAEW Certificate in Finance Accounting and Business (CFAB)*.

*those completing the EY Business Apprenticeship in Scotland will complete their studies with ICAS.


If you are currently at school/college, you must be completing 3 A levels, 5 Highers or equivalent qualifications.

Find out more about how to prepare for the job assessment process of EY HERE

Professional Services: Grant Thornton School Leaver Programme, Accelerate

grantthorntonGrant Thornton are a global organisation providing business and financial advice to over 40,000 clients. Their School Leaver Programme, Accelerate, is in place of a degree and has grown significantly over the last few years. Its aimed at students who are bright enough to go to universioty but have decided that they would prefer to kick start their career immediately and also not saddle themselves with any student debt. You’ll join c100 others to train to become a respected business adviser, get AAT, ATT or ACCA qualified, depending on the area you join.

After AAT most trainees go on to study towards the ACA. Those starting on ATT will often then begin studying for the CTA qualification. In all cases, you’ll get top-quality training, plus plenty of support, variety and responsibility at every stage. If you pass the exams you'll qualify in the first four years. And after that, all sorts of possibilities open up – including moving to other areas of Grant Thornton – in the UK and abroad.

To apply, you’ll need a real interest in business and a desire to make an impact.

Get in touch with Grant Thornton to discuss the role further by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Professional Services: IBM Apprenticeship Programmes

ibmIBM, offer apprenticeships in consulting, IT Technical Sales, Infrastructure, Software Development and professional Accountancy, HR and Project Management. They also offer degree apprenticeships in Business Management and Digital and Technical Solutions. As degree apprentices you will be studying with the likes of Queen Mary University of London, Exeter, Manchester Metropolitan, Open University and Pearson College.

Entry Requirements:

  • 2017 Tariff: 5 GCSE’s Grade 5-9 (incl. Maths and English Language) and must have obtained or be predicted at least 64 UCAS points from A-levels or equivalent
  • 2016 Tariff: 5 GCSE’s Grade C or above (incl. Maths and English Language) and must have obtained or be predicted at least 160 UCAS points from A-levels or equivalent

Apprenticeships have changed. IBM has changed. It's not all about bits & bytes, cloud and cognitive. You can now achieve a management accountant CIMA qualification as an IBM Apprentice. Or become an HR Consultant. Or even become a graduate with a degree qualification. All through the apprenticeship route. Apprenticeships at IBM are all about picking up skills for the workplace and embarking on a long, and successful career. They have your professional development in mind from the day you join as a permanent employee. 

 Practice tailored psychometric tests similar to the ones used by IBM HERE.

Professional Services: KPMG Apprenticeships


KPMG in the UK is part of a global network of firms that offers Audit, Tax, Consulting and Deal Advisory services. The talent of over 13,000 colleagues brings imagination and insight to our clients’ most critical challenges. We work with everyone from small start-ups and individuals to major multinationals across the UK. The sectors we serve span everything from Aerospace and Defence to Energy and Technology to Charities and Healthcare.

Our Apprenticeship Programmes offer a practical way to kick-start an exciting career with KPMG. As a KPMG apprentice, we’ll invest in you from day one. You’ll receive great benefits, structured training and an exceptional level of support. You’ll earn a salary, gain valuable work experience and skills and be supported to achieve a professional qualification. You’ll also gain the skills and experience needed to become a truly accomplished professional. Our work is often complex, yet our vision is simple: to be the clear choice in professional services.

Being part of KPMG means being part of a community where you’ll get to work with some of the brightest minds in business. Our colleagues have incredibly diverse backgrounds and you’ll be encouraged to bring your own unique perspective. We’ll value your ideas, enthusiasm and natural curiosity. This sense of community will be apparent from the moment you join us. As an apprentice, you’ll be enrolled into ‘The Academy’– a unique learning community that unites all our apprentices and graduates across the UK. It will help you make connections not just for today, but for your career ahead. This is an opportunity not only to build your skills and confidence, but build an exceptional future with one of the world’s leading professional services firms.

Whichever programme you choose, you’ll be making a great start to your career. You’ll gain a thorough understanding of how businesses work, and develop the skills to help build a successful and fulfilling career at KPMG. Find out more about what we can offer you and apply today by visiting our careers site.

Professional Services: Mazars School Leaver Scheme

mazarsMazar School Leaver training scheme offers you the opportunity to gain a professional qualification (AAT or ATT) whilst earning a competitive salary and gaining invaluable experience. 

AAT stands for the Association of Accounting Technicians. The AAT qualification gives you a great grounding in practical accounting knowledge and skills.

Successful completion of your AAT will also enable you to ‘fast track’ on to a Chartered Accountancy qualification. This makes the AAT / ACA route a very competitive alternative for talented A level students who are considering whether or not to go to university. You could be fully ACA qualified in 4 years.

Mazars offers 3 schemes: tax, external audit and outsourcing. 

You will receive a full study package and time off to attend college. Mazars support all trainees with a blended approach to training and development, so classroom study, 1:1 coaching and support and, as you progress, technical and skills training to enable you to progress to management and leadership positions.

Academic Requirements

You’ll need to have, or be on track to gain, at least 280 UCAS points (to have achieved in the same academic year), although your A level (or equivalent) subjects are not important. They also look for Grade B or above in GCSE English Language and Maths.

What do they look for?

Talented individuals who are keen to learn and develop. They are looking for people who are interested in working in a client facing business, with good numerical reasoning and communication skills. Importantly, people with a positive attitude, who enjoy working as part of a team and taking responsibility.


Learn more about Mazars assessment process and online tests HERE.

Professional Services: PWC School & College Leaver Higher Apprenticeships

pwcPWC offer a range of higher apprenticeships for school leavers as an alternative to going to university. They have programmes in:



  • Assurance
  • Tax
  • Deals
  • Consulting

In addition, they offer flying start degree programmes where you will study for a degree whilst working for PWC/ On all the programmes you will complete formal training and study for qualifications. You need 280 UCAS points to apply (240 points for tax).

Professional Services: RSM Apprenticeships

RSM (previously Baker Tilly). offer tax, audit and consulting advice. They have a range of school leaver programmes, in the following areas:

  • Accounting * Business Advisory
  • Consultancy
  • Corporate finance
  • External audit
  • Fraud
  • Internal audit
  • It
  • Tax
  • Technology Consulting
  • Technology Risk

Deopending on your placment, you will get the opportunity to choose whether you gain the relevent professional qualifications from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors (CIA), the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) or the ICAEW and ICAS Chartered Accountant (ACA).

Qualifications required

You’ll need a minimum of Grade C in English Language and Maths GCSE and predicted 240 UCAS* to apply (or equivalent). 



Professional Services: Smith & Williamson Higher Apprenticeships

smith williamsonSmith & Williamson offer a relatively unique combination of financial services, private banking and investment management. They provide higher apprenticeships in assurance & business services, private client tax or business tax. If you’re looking for an opportunity where you will be doing real work, on real accounts with real responsibility from an early stage, then  this is an option. You’ll also work toward a professional qualification with full support throughout your studies, including ongoing in-house training, appraisals, and mentoring.The qualifications you’ll study towards will depend on the department you’re in. These include: Certificate in Finance, Accounting and Business (CBAF), Associate Chartered Accountant (ACA), Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA).

Assurance & Business Services means working directly with managing and financial directors being responsible for checking that numbers stack up with fact.  Corporate Tax ensures clients are tax efficient and compliant and Private Client tax provides tax advice to individuals.

Learn more about Smith & Williamson's assessment process and online tests HERE

Professional Services: Willis Towers Watson Apprenticeships

willis towers watsonWillis Towers Watson is a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company. Theydesign and deliver solutions that manage risk, optimize benefits & cultivate talent. Their apprenticeships provide you the opportunity to earn whilst you learn, spending 80% of your time fulfilling a real job within one of their business teams and up to 20% of your time attending training to qualify in your field of study gaining a professional qualification. 

Examples of their work include:

  • Advising companies on how to invest their employee pension funds,
  • Defining and securing sufficient insurance cover for clients’ business operations
  • Enabling insurance clients to spread their own risk effectively.

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