Bennett Verby Accountants
Bennett Verby has been established for over 120 years and is one of the biggest multi-disciplinary accountancy firms in the north west, employing over 50 staff, with a head office in Stockport as well as other offices in Manchester and London.
Adam Rhodes is the Accounts, Audit and Training Manager at Bennett Verby and has responsibility for managing the firm’s apprenticeship programme. Adam said: “The company has been taking apprentices on for some time, in fact the first apprentice we took on in 1999 is now a director of the company. When the Business Growth Hub came in to help us develop a workforce development plan, that helped us to focus on taking a more strategic and long term approach to our apprenticeship programme.
“We’re now taking a minimum of two new apprentices on each year, in either accountancy or business administration. We tend to develop our own staff, and help them to climb the career ladder within the company. We’re very happy with the results of our apprenticeship programme as we find that it helps to bring fresh ideas and energy to the business.
“We firmly believe that apprenticeships are the most effective route into the industry these days. We find that our apprentices become committed and loyal, and that they can become fully qualified almost as quickly as graduate recruits but with the added benefit of valuable work experience, and of course without the debts that graduates have to take on these days. I take a keen personal interest in the progress of all our apprentices, and set aside half a day each week so that I’m available to help them work through any issues that they have.
“Our business has grown significantly since we started our apprenticeship programme, and we were recently highly commended in the medium sized employer category in the north west section of the National Apprenticeship Awards. We were very pleased that our commitment and the progress that our apprentices have made was recognised in this way. We are pleased to act as advocates for the vocational route into our industry, and have spoken in schools and at careers events about the opportunities that are available to young people.
“We were invited to take part in the project that is aiming to develop a quality mark recognising those businesses that are leading the way in apprenticeship employment, which may feed into the Greater Manchester Mayor’s broader employer charter. It’s been really useful to meet with other employers who are involved in apprenticeships across various sectors, and to share ideas and experiences. We’re looking forward to piloting the quality mark, and we feel that it will give us a useful insight into the progress that we’ve made and what more we need to do in the future.”
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