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‘Taking on an apprentice works better than a graduate’ says Cheltenham accounting firm

21 June 2018

Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government’s drive to equip people with the skills that employers need to grow and complete. They help by tackling skills challenges and support businesses to grow, whilst providing a successful career path for ambitious individuals. The Gloucestershire College Business Hub supports hundreds of county businesses with apprenticeships to train/upskill new and existing staff members. 

Paish Tooth has been offering expert accountancy and tax advice from its central Cheltenham office for over 30 years, and recruiting apprentices for over 10 years.

We caught up with Patrick Cooper, to find out how taking on apprentices has worked for the business. 

“In the field of accounting, taking on an apprentice works better than taking on a graduate. An accounting degree offers students many exemptions from various papers, and invariably graduates gain a qualification but have no practical skills or real hands-on experience. Plus, an apprentice is usually quite impressionable, and happy to learn a business’s way of doing things rather than coming with pre-formed ideas which are less relevant.

“We found that Gloucestershire College has a reasonable pool of candidates to choose from, which is useful in the recruitment stages of the apprenticeship.

“The main benefit we have found is that apprentices get work done efficiently. It is helpful having staff working at a more junior level, because they can be taught our business’s own methods for processing jobs. They adopt our procedures rather than the theories from a textbook, and this gives them a good grounding for progression.”


Paish Tooth currently has two apprentices working at its Cheltenham office; Sam Organ and Ellie Michell, who are both working as Accounts Trainees. Both Sam and Ellie are thriving in their accounting roles, having chosen to pursue the apprenticeship pathway to work towards their career goals. Sam decided an apprenticeship was right for him as:


“University doesn’t guarantee a job at the end of it; with an apprenticeship you are able to earn while you learn and there is a secure job involved. I work at Paish Tooth four days per week and attend college once a week during term time. I am benefitting from experience at work and also studying in college, which is great combined and allows me to gain relevant industry qualifications whilst gaining experience.

“I’d recommend doing an apprenticeship in the accounting industry, as I believe it is a good alternative to other options such as university, and by doing one you are contributing to the to the economy.” 

Ellie has also been enjoying her apprenticeship at Paish Tooth:

“As I am becoming more experienced in my role, I have been given more responsibility and now find myself helping out our newer apprentice too. I think that for anyone interested in working in the accounting industry, an apprenticeship is a great option for pursuing that career.”


If you are considering taking on an apprentice to support your business, get in contact with the GC Business Hub to arrange your free consultation on 01452 563400 or email  


Why Gloucestershire College?

We have a lot of experience offering Apprenticeships and work-related training. We have industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching staff which provide the ideal complement to work-based learning.

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