The Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) has launched a major review of how skills training serves the legal, finance and accounting professions.

We want to make sure that apprenticeships and wider technical education, including T Levels and Higher Technical Qualifications, work for everyone regardless of the size and location of businesses and diverse background of trainees.

They should fulfil businesses’ current and future skills needs and support sustainability, social mobility, and inclusion.

It is also vital to make sure that we are giving the people doing the training highly relevant skills that are needed by employers and will launch them into long and successful careers.

IfATE will ask about all of this and more in a public consultation, supporting today’s route review launch, which will run until 30 September.

Jennifer Coupland, chief executive of IfATE, said: “I would like to thank the many large and small employers who have led the way with reforming apprenticeships and technical education so they’re doing a much better job of filling the legal, finance and accounting skills gaps and opening out these professions to people from more diverse backgrounds.
“This route review is a fantastic opportunity to take stock and find out a huge amount about what more needs to done to keep pace with current and future skills needs, support people from all backgrounds into great careers, and serve the needs of businesses right across the country.”

There are currently 39 apprenticeships for the legal, finance and accounting (LFA) professions from level 2 (GCSE equivalent) up to levels 6 and 7 (degree level). T Levels will launch for Finance and Accounting in September this year and Legal Services next year. A Legal, Finance and Accounting Higher Technical Qualification is set to follow in 2024.

All these products follow occupational standards that employers have designed with support from IfATE. These identify the knowledge, skills, and behaviours that must be learned for students to prove they are work ready.

They are being pulled together into easy to use and navigate occupational maps that will show opportunities to train and progress careers across these vital professions. These will form the basis of skills training careers advice.

This route review, including the consultation, will provide employers, training providers, awarding organisations, learners, and anyone else who cares about skills training for the legal, finance and accounting professions with the opportunity to reflect on what is working and where things need to improve.

Stephen Allaker, finance director at Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceuticals, and chair of the influential IfATE route pane of employers for these occupations, said: “We are very excited to launch this route review. We have registered a significant number of starts on apprenticeships in this route and are very proud of the programme as a whole. It is also expanding, with the finance and accountancy T Levels due to be taught from September this year, and legal services in 2023. This review is an ideal time for us as a sector to review how the products are working for our sectors. Please take the time to engage with the review and provide feedback, either via the online consultation, one of the webinars or by contacting the IFATE’s team.

There will be further opportunities to share view and insights through the following webinars:

July 

18 July 2022 at 14:00 – 15:30: IFATE Legal pathway Webinar 

19 July 2022 at 10:00 – 11:30: IFATE Financial Pathway Webinar 

21 July 2022 at 14:00 – 15:30: IFATE Accountancy Pathway webinar 

September 

27 September 2022 at 10:00 – 11:30: IFATE Legal Pathway Webinar 

28 September 2022 at 10:00 – 11:30: IFATE Financial Pathway Webinar 

29 September 2022 at 14:00 to 15:30: IFATE Accountancy Pathway webinar 

You can also share views or lodge enquiries through emailing LegalFinanceAccounting.IFATE@education.gov.uk.