ICAEW change the face of accountancy with the launch of a new virtual work experience program

The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) has launched their latest virtual work experience program in partnership with HR tech firm, Cappfinity.

The professional membership body, which represents the interests of 195,000 members and students around the world and has 13 offices worldwide, launched its 2023 campaign following the success of its innovative work experience program in 2021 and 2022.

The week-long program, which is open to 16 to 17-year-old students at school or college in the UK, is an opportunity to learn more about the fascinating careers of chartered accountants, bust myths regarding the profession and develop young peoples’ professional skills.

The program removes barriers and misconceptions around careers in accountancy, whilst providing students with the opportunity to learn more about themselves and their individual strengths and skills.

ICAEW particularly welcomes applications from underrepresented groups to showcase the various pathways into the career, attract talent and build greater diversity in the profession.

Applicants undergo a two-stage assessment process designed by Cappfinity.  Firstly, applicants complete a situational strengths assessment using Cappfinity’s Capptivate which is designed to highlight interests and abilities that would facilitate success in role.  Candidates also complete a pre-recorded video interview using Cappfinity’s Snapshot, a mobile-ready interview platform.

Every applicant receives a personalized feedback report, something we believe every candidate deserves, to understand more about themselves and discover where their personal skills and strengths lie.

The work experience itself comprises of project-based learning modules, including an intro to ICAEW and the ACA qualification, self-insight activities (learning about individual strengths), break-out activities and plenary sessions, culminating in a final group presentation assessed by employer partners and professionals with an interest in levelling up.

Jack Henman, Marketing Manager at ICAEW explained: “We’re delighted to have launched this year’s virtual work experience program in conjunction with so many fantastic employers and in partnership with Cappfinity.

“We know there are a lot of misconceptions about accountancy, when in reality no two days are the same, it is a truly fascinating and fulfilling career and we are determined to breakdown any and all barriers to entry.

“Cappfinity’s innovative assessment process, using the Capptivate platform not only provides us with information about a student’s potential, but it also provides the student with an insight into what a career in accountancy might look like, by using realistic tasks and imagery.”

Abi Parker, Account Director at Cappfinity who was part of the final judging panel last year, said: “ICAEW’s commitment to widening participation is exemplary. The quality of the presentations I observed as a judge on their final day was very impressive and it was great to see how the students’ confidence had grown over such a short period of time.

“The decision to engage with multiple partners to contribute to the work experience program is a truly market-leading approach, opening up new talent pools earlier to drive interest in the future.”

Last year’s program saw high numbers of female students, those from lower socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic minority groups apply. It is hoped that this year’s scheme will continue to attract these groups and expand on previous success.

The program is open to students across the UK and is delivered via a digital format, so there is no need to travel.

If you are a Year 12 (England and Wales), Year 13 (NI), S5 (Scotland) student, or equivalent, you can apply to the work experience program via the ICAEW Work Experience webpage here: https://careers.icaew.com/work-experience.