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The Kickstart Scheme Delivery Suprising Bonus for HB Accountants

The ICAEW are highlighting the work HB Accountants in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire are doing to address diversity within the profession, their apprenticeship program and their Kickstart experience – read more here

We were delighted to be featured in the lastest ICAEW Livewire magazine – a magazine for Chartered Accountants in Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

Here is what the ICAEW has to say about us and our Apprenticeship Program:

THE KICKSTART SCHEME DELIVERS SURPRISING BONUS FOR HB ACCOUNTANTS

As part of the ICAEW’s ongoing programme of increasing diversity in the profession, we look at one local irm’s experience of using one of the Government’s schemes, Kickstart.

Hertfordshire-based HB Accountants have long been advocates of apprenticeships and appreciate the importance of ensuring they are open to talent from all social backgrounds, so were intrigued to find out about the Kickstart scheme, back in September 2020. The scheme provided funding for employers to create jobs for 16-24 year-olds on Universal Credit and at risk of long term unemployment.

The firm heard about the Kickstart Scheme via a Government announcement and it immediately resonated.

HB Director, Karen Chase, explains more:

‘We’ve employed apprentices for a number of years and are passionate about supporting our local community. However, I’ve often wondered whether accountancy, as an industry, is doing a good enough job at appealing to students from a more diverse socioeconomic background. We saw the Kickstart scheme as a great way to give something back to the local area whilst supporting a young person. It provided an opportunity they may not have otherwise found and, ultimately, gave them valuable skills and experience that they could use to find a permanent role. We already had two apprentices and we felt that we had the resources and skills to support a third person.

The Kickstart application process was not the smoothest and there were a number of hoops to be jumped through tohave our application accepted. Whilst we are experienced in regulatory filings, this was a whole different process! After three applications, we were finally accepted onto the scheme – we booked in interviews with a few young people and as soon as we met Carter we knew he would be a great fit and offered him a placement there and then. He was genuinely interested in accountancy, working within an office with similar-aged people and was keen to make the most of the opportunity.’

HB were delighted to welcome 18-year old Carter to their team in October 2021. Having recently secured his A Levels and decided to pursue training rather than heading off to university, he was looking for a role that would give him relevant experience whilst developing his natural numeracy skills.

I was so happy to secure work experience in a local business. Everyone is welcoming, helpful and supportive and I have quickly felt very comfortable. The work is enjoyable and I am pleased to learn new skills and earn some money. HB is a great place to work. The Kickstart Scheme has given me an insight into accountancy and office life and the knowledge that I am gaining will help me decide what to do next.

Carter Harrington – kickstart champion, now hb apprentice – trainee accountant

Karen went on to explain:

‘We have found that the Kickstart Scheme has been great for our business on so many levels. We supported a local young person to gain valuable experience, skills and insights and have been able to deliver far more than we thought. Most of Carter’s salary was covered by the scheme, so we have been able to invest more of our time,and resources into training and development. We’ve also had the pleasure of meeting a fantastic person who has shown a real flair for accountancy. We took on two new apprentices in September, as part of our usual apprenticeship plan, but with Carter making such a positive impact, the directors decided to offer Carter an apprenticeship too, enabling HB to continue to support him in the next phase of his career.’

Unfortunately the Kickstart scheme closed to new applicants in December 2021, however, existing offers made to Kickstarters remain open until 31 March 2022.

Karen summed up by saying,

‘We’ve had a really positive experience with Kickstart and we’ll be looking to join in with the next initiative that enables us, as employers, to ensure that young people from all backgrounds are given opportunities within accountancy. It’s been good for our business and good for our local area.’


HB Accountants would like to the ICAEW for highlighting our ongoing work to support diversity in the workplace and training and development of young talent. If you would like to hear more about our experiences and how we support you and your business, no matter your company size or sector, then call us on 01992 444466

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The information contained above is for general guidance purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the contents are accurate, please note that each individual has different circumstances and it is essential that you seek appropriate professional advice before you act on any of the information contained herein. HB Accountants can accept no liability for any errors or omission or for any person acting on or refraining from acting on the information provided in the above

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