The Accounting Academy03 March 2017
The Accounting Academy at the Centre for Lifelong learning has had a very successful first year as the number of students enrolled onto either short Bookkeeping qualifications or longer Accounting ones has seen substantial growth.
In terms of the accounting qualifications the academy achieved growth of 174% moving from 30 new AQ students in 2015 to 82 in 2016. This places the academy in the top 10 performing London FE Colleges for new AQ students in 2016. For short bookkeeping qualifications, there was also a significant increase from 119 in 2015 to 193 in 2016, making City and Islington College the top performing London FE College for short qualifications in terms of students engaged.
In order to broaden its offer and reach a more diverse student group, the Academy has this year additionally launched two new Professional Services study programmes for 16-18 year olds, whose main qualifications are in accounting.
In line with facilitating stronger links with accounting employers for the Academy students, the centre is additionally at present training apprentices at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. Master classes by local accounting employers have proven highly popular with the accounting students.
An example of one such master class aimed at accounting students at the Centre for Lifelong Learning proved very popular amongst current AAT students. Geeta Tailor, the apprenticeship co-ordinator at Islington Council, represented a large employer, and Chris Dilks, from Anthonisz & Neville, presented from the perspective of a small public practice. Both employers are currently employing accounting apprentices from the centre.
The topic of the class was to do with recruitment practices of accounting firms. The employers discussed the various skills they look for when recruiting, describing the process in great detail. These practical tips, coming directly from the employers, had real value for the students. Interestingly, the recruitment process is very different for these two employers, and so offered the learners a varied perspective on how to approach progression into employment depending on the employer.
Importantly, the rapid growth of the Academy has still led to very positive student achievement rates, which were above those nationally, evidencing the high quality of teaching, learning and assessment taking place.
As the Accounting Academy continues to broaden its offer, 2016/17 should facilitate further growth, enabling more students from the Centre for Lifelong Learning to gain vocational qualifications that enable them to progress into employment.
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