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Work with leading public sector employers while you study CIPFA's Professional Accountancy Qualification

We have some great trainee and apprentice opportunities available throughout the year for motivated individuals who want to start a rewarding career in public finance and accountancy.

You could be placed with a leading public sector employer on a three year fixed term contract with full sponsorship to complete the CIPFA Professional Accountancy Qualification (CIPFA PQ).

Get in touch to find out more about our trainee and apprenticeship programmes:

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CIPFA trainee and apprenticeship vacancies

Grant Thornton

Grant Thornton - Public Sector Graduate/School Leaver placement

Job details

Job title: Public Sector Graduate and School Leaver placement

Location: London, Birmingham, South West, North West and Yorkshire

Salary: Competitive

Number of vacancies: 100

Starting dates: Staggered - 3 February, 2 March, 30 March

About the organisation

Join us and you’ll shape more than just your career. We believe that we’re best positioned to make a meaningful impact on the economy. Every day, we provide a diverse range of organisations with the kind of business and financial advice it takes to do this. Our ideas and insight empower our clients to make big decisions about the future and unlock sustainable growth. With a relentless focus on quality and integrity, we help businesses, communities and our people to flourish.

Key responsibilities

During this fixed term placement you'll gain a full insight into our clients, our business and life as a Public Sector Audit associate. During your placement you'll experience real client work, learning and development opportunities and you’ll take on the same responsibilities as a first year graduate or school leaver.

You’ll hit the ground running, which may involve visiting client sites as part of a small team soon after you start. From the beginning you'll be expected to get stuck in, develop deep relationships and ask the right questions to cut to the core of your client's business. Being able to see the bigger picture and then focus on the specific client's issues is essential.

Minimum entry requirements

We have a flexible approach to academic entry requirements. We’ll consider your academic achievements, but your strengths, motivations and connection with us and our values are equally as important. We’re looking for people with a broad range of interests and experiences.

Interview/assessment dates

To be confirmed.

How to apply

You can apply directly on the Grant Thornton job vacancies page.

Contact Grant Thornton on or for more information.

London Borough of Hillingdon

London Borough of Hillingdon - Trainee Accountant

Job details

Job title: Trainee Accountant

Location: Uxbridge


£23,814 - 47,511 (progression linked to exam and work based performance)

Number of vacancies: One

Application closing date: TBC

Interview/assessment dates: TBC

Start date: Spring/Summer 2020

About the organisation

Hillingdon is situated on the western edge of Greater London and is the second largest London borough. It is bordered by the counties of Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Surrey, as well as the London Boroughs of Ealing, Harrow and Hounslow. Hillingdon council offices are based in Uxbridge, located just 14 miles from Central London and excellent transport links, with both the Metropolitan and Piccadilly underground lines within less than five minutes walk of the Civic Centre.

The council employs around 2,700 staff, and spends approximately £451m per year providing a range of first-class public services to its 312,600 residents, including local planning functions, social care services, recycling and waste management, highways, transport, housing services, schools and library services. 

Hillingdon has recently pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030. The borough continues to be one of the greenest in the country, receiving more Green Flag awards than any other authority with over 50 flags in total.  It is continuing to transform itself, becoming greener and more efficient, while saving taxpayer's money, through a number of changes and initiatives.

Organisation culture/environment

Hillingdon Council’s finance training scheme has produced a number of high performing staff in recent years, with an embedded learning and development culture and dedicated mentoring scheme to support trainees, the Council adopts a ‘grow your own’ approach to developing its finance leaders. Across a range of council services, over 300 apprenticeship qualifications have been achieved within the council in the last three years, demonstrating the significant investment and high priority given to training throughout the organisation. 

The council has delivered £130m in efficiency savings since 2010/11, whilst continuing to invest and deliver excellent services. The ongoing financial challenges facing the public sector places a key role on finance to achieve and support the council’s objectives. We are looking for someone who is motivated to make a real contribution to the performance of the organisation and for Hillingdon residents. The work is varied with a range of challenges, but you will also be rewarded by seeing the growth and development of yourself into a full Chartered Public Finance Accountant, utilising the skills you will have learned throughout the qualification.

Hillingdon’s vision is ‘Putting Our Residents First’, and is achieved across the following themes:

  • Our People - Putting our residents first and at the heart of all that we do, promoting civic pride.
  • Our Natural Environment - We will protect and enhance the Borough's natural environment.
  • Our Built Environment - We will continue to improve our buildings, roads and footways and ensure that new buildings fit with the surrounding environment.
  • Financial Management - Maintaining the solid approach to financial management that has delivered our success to date and which will be vital going forward.

The council offers a range of benefits including generous annual leave entitlement, full study support including leave for exams, and flexible working practices with full timewise accreditation.

Key responsibilities

We are looking for an ambitious individual with a passion for public services and excellent numeracy skills, who has the potential to become a future finance leader. You will be able to think strategically, develop good working relationships with stakeholders and identify solutions to issues as they arise. You will be working with a range of employees across all areas of the organisation, as well as external contacts (such as responding to external audit queries and preparing statutory government returns), so it is essential that you have excellent communication skills, to allow you to develop contacts and relationships with customer and client groups. You will be confident in interpreting and understanding numerical data, and be able to analyse budget management and performance information and articulate findings in a clear manner. 

Training will be undertaken over a three-year period, with placements across finance functions on a rotation basis. Your training programme will be set out in an individual development plan, aligned to the CIPFA qualification with the support of a dedicated mentor for the duration of your studies.

The role of Public Sector finance is varied and the training scheme will involve supporting a broad range of finance functions on a placement basis as you develop through the qualification, including:

  • the council’s transformation programme in delivering efficiencies and improvements to services
  • the Financial Planning team in the development of budgets and medium term financial strategy
  • Treasury Management function involving multi-million pound investments
  • the Statutory Accounting team liaising with our external auditors and preparing our Statement of Accounts
  • the Capital Finance team providing financial support on exciting large-scale projects across the borough
  • Social Care budget monitoring and financial planning, including analysing and modelling trends and demographics and the financial impact.

Minimum entry requirements

3 GCSE's (grades A-C) including Maths and English, and 2 'A' levels (Grades A-C) or three years’ relevant work experience.

Interview/assessment dates

To be confirmed.

How to apply

You can apply directly on Hillingdon Council’s website.

Contact Chris Mayo on or 01895 556917 for more information, or to arrange an informal discussion about the role.

Wychavon District Council

Wychavon District Council - Trainee Accountant

Job details

Job title: Trainee Accountant

Location: Pershore, Worcestershire

Salary: Career Grade in the range Grade 5 to Grade 8, £19,945 to £31,371 (pay award pending). Initial appointment will be made in accordance with existing qualifications and experience, with progression to grade 8 as the various stages of the CIPFA qualification are completed.

Number of vacancies: One

Application closing date: 9 August 2020 

Interview/assessment dates: 2 September 2020. Please note that the interview date is provisional and there may be a need to offer alternative dates in the same week.

Starting date: As soon as possible, but no later than October 2020.

About the organisation

Wychavon District Council is a local authority which covers a significant part of the county of Worcestershire, providing services to around 117,000 residents in the three towns of Evesham, Pershore and Droitwich and nearly 100 hamlets and villages including Broadway, the gateway to the Cotswolds. 

The council shares a Chief Executive with Malvern Hills District Council and is involved in many shared services and joint working arrangements with Malvern Hills and other councils. Some services are delivered by the council’s 235 staff and others through partnerships with companies such as Civica, that provide our Revenues and Benefits service, Wychavon Leisure, that run our leisure centres, and FCC, that provide our waste collection and recycling service. 

The Financial Services team provides a valuable support service to all areas of the council and the work of the team includes budgeting, budget monitoring, accounting and treasury management as well as procurement, payment of all the council’s invoices and collection of all debts apart from Council Tax and Business Rates. The council’s net expenditure on services each year is about £15m, although its gross expenditure is in the region of £45m. Over the years Wychavon District Council has won many awards for the services it provides, its customer services and its innovation and is held up by the government as a good example of a progressive and efficient council.

Key responsibilities

The training programme will incorporate a range of technical and managerial skills, including financial and management accounting, auditing, leadership. management, governance and public policy. The postholder will gain practical experience from working on a variety of projects to ensure that all of these areas are covered.

Minimum entry requirements

Degree or AAT Level 4 qualification and at least 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including Maths and English Language.


  • Training, books and examinations paid for
  • Membership of the Local Government Pension Scheme
  • Subsidised gym membership
  • On site parking
  • Café
  • Subsidised Creche

Interview/assessment dates

2 September 2020. Please note that the interview date is provisional and there may be a need to offer alternative dates in the same week.

How to apply

Please find further details including a job description and person specification and an application form on the Wychavon website.

Key contacts

Rob Jones – Principal Accountant: or 01386 565506

Alice Mason – Financial Services Manager: or 01386 565501