A dwindling candidate pool and fallout from the Great Resignation have become major concerns for companies everywhere. Because of fierce competition for qualified candidates, firms and organizations are pivoting in how they approach hiring new employees.
With on-the-job training, mentorship opportunities, full-time wages and a learning program leading to a credential, the Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners, launched by the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants®, offers apprentices meaningful employment and provides the finance department a new recruiting option.
“Apprenticeship programs make companies more attractive employers, while providing needed skills to younger candidates out of universities,” said Joanne Fiore, Vice President, Pipeline and Apprenticeships, CGMA Americas at the Association.
Addressing employer concerns
Finance chiefs during the Association’s recent Future of Finance Summit continued to identify “finding and retaining talent” as the No. 1 issue facing finance departments. “The apprenticeship program was developed to address this concern,” said Fiore.
“The apprenticeship program will allow employers to consider more graduates directly from school, because they know the candidate will supplement their skillsets and education with on-the-job training and instruction using the Finance Leadership Program,” she added.
The Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners is the first registered finance-and-accounting apprenticeship available within the United States.
Apprentices enrolled in the program learn using the CGMA Finance Leadership Program — a guided, digital learning and assessment route that will enhance their competency across a broad range of skillsets, and leads to the Chartered Global Management Accounting (CGMA) credential.
Apprenticeship vs. internship
Apprenticeships are not internships and may be a more viable career option for many job seekers across the country. While internships can provide work experience, they’re usually only available to current college students or recent graduates. The duration is often short, and many internships are unpaid — making them inaccessible for some people.
Apprenticeships fill in these gaps. providing employer-driven training programs that increase productivity, reduce turnover and strengthen retention, according to the US Department of Labor.
Finance apprentices work gainfully while also studying for their CGMA credential and working directly with a mentor. They’re able to put the competencies they’re learning to use in real time. This is a great career path for recent college graduates or those seeking a career change like veterans.
“Apprenticeships widen the pool and make the workplace more inclusive,” explained Fiore. “Not all candidates will need to have all the education or all the training at the start because employers are providing some of that.”
There is no shortage of benefits for the employers and apprentices when both are committed to the program.
Tax credits and grants may be available to organizations to help manage training costs. Employers also have access to a concierge service provided by the Association, to help them manage the apprenticeship and maximize their eligibility for local, state and federal funding.
Major benefits to the candidate, especially recent college graduates, include quality training and access to higher-paying jobs, increasing the likelihood of success and career progression. Earning the CGMA credential while they work develops accountants’ skill sets earlier in their careers. The mentorship component creates meaningful relationships, builds stronger teams and develops future managers.
Open opportunities to finance careers
Skill development is at the heart of any apprenticeship program, and the AICPA® Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners is no different: It creates more opportunities in accounting and finance.
“This is a great way to upskill candidates for better jobs,” said Fiore. “It’s career development. It’s pipeline management. It’s candidate pool enhancement. This is how you change recruiting for the finance team.”
Are you interested in expanding recruitment opportunities within your finance departments? Contact apprenticeshipsUS@aicpa-cima.com to learn more about the AICPA® Registered Apprenticeship for Finance Business Partners.