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PKF Francis Clark welcomes 55 new apprentices

A new cohort of 55 graduates, school leavers and career changers are starting their careers in accountancy and tax with Top 100 Apprenticeship employer PKF Francis Clark.

Based across the firm’s offices in Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Poole, Salisbury, Taunton, Torquay and Truro, the new apprentices had a chance to get to know each other during a two-day induction at the University of Exeter before starting their journey to becoming qualified chartered accountants or tax advisers.

PKF Francis Clark’s managing partner, Andrew Richards, said: “Growing our own talent is an important part of our culture, so we look forward to supporting our new trainees to gain the breadth and depth of skills and experience that will set them up for a successful and rewarding career.

“The number and calibre of applications we received for our apprenticeship programmes was hugely encouraging and reflects the work we are doing with schools, colleges and universities to bust myths about our profession and inspire talented young people to pursue careers in accountancy and tax. For example, you don’t need to study maths or accounting and finance to join our graduate apprenticeship scheme – our new recruits studied subjects as diverse as classics, law, exercise and nutrition, human genetics and sustainable production design. What we look for above all is aptitude, a willingness to learn and the ability to build trusted relationships with clients.”

The new trainee accountants and tax advisers include graduates from the universities of Exeter, Bristol, Plymouth and the West of England, as well as recent leavers from Exeter College, Bridgwater & Taunton College, Richard Huish College in Taunton and Devonport High School for Girls in Plymouth. There are also a number of career changers, including two former teachers and another who was previously in the army.

As well as being certified as a Great Place to Work, PKF Francis Clark is ranked 28th on this year’s list of England’s Top 100 Apprenticeship employers by the Department of Education and High Fliers Research. The firm offers three main entry routes for accountancy and tax trainees:

  • The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) apprenticeship is aimed at non-graduates and combines learning on the job with attending college one day a week, leading to a level 3 or 4 qualification.
  • Trainees who have a degree can work towards a level 7 qualification from the Association of Chartered Accountants (ACA), combining on-the-job learning from experienced colleagues with studying via a leading professional training provider.
  • The firm also has a specialist tax pathway for apprentices to achieve the level 7 Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification.

PKF Francis Clark is ranked as one of the UK’s Best Workplaces for Women, who make up 28 of its 55 new apprentices.

Applications for the firm’s 2024 apprenticeship programme will open in September. More information about careers at PKF Francis Clark can be found at