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

cambridgeshire county council

Cambridgeshire County Council - Financial Management/ Internal Audit Associate

Job details

Job title: Financial Management/ Internal Audit Associate

Location: Cambridgeshire

Salary: £23 - £31k, with progression linked to exam and work performance

Number of vacancies: One - three across both streams

Application closing date: 8 August 2019

Interview/assessment dates: 
  • Assessment Centre – 16 August 2019
  • Final interviews – 20/ 21 August 2019
Starting date: September 2019

About the organisation

Cambridgeshire County Council provides a wide range of services to the people of Cambridgeshire - from libraries to residential and nursing homes, fostering services for Looked after Children to pot-holes repairs to roads. It is this wide range of services which makes working for Cambridgeshire so interesting and challenging, with the Professional Finance team providing support to all services across the council.

Cambridgeshire is one of the fastest growing counties in the country, with numerous exciting new developments that offer both challenges and opportunities to the council and its partner organisations across the region. It is also an incredibly varied county, encompassing remote and traditional agricultural areas and 'Silicon Fen' around Cambridge.

In 2020/21 the council’s civic hub will be transferring to a new, purpose-built office in Alconbury Weald.

Organisation culture/environment

The financial management graduate programme at Cambridgeshire County Council has been running for over 30 years and an internal audit-specific stream was added to the programme in 2018. The scheme offers graduates an extraordinary opportunity for a rewarding career in public sector finance and gives you a wide range of experience and opportunities whilst you train to become a qualified accountant and allows you to influence key local government decisions that matter to communities. Trainees will study for the CIPFA Professional Qualification at the CIPFA Education Training Centre in London.

The scheme offers great progression and there are employees at various levels of CCC and partner organisations in the region who have passed through the scheme.

Key responsibilities

Successful applicants will enter either the Financial Management stream, based in Cambridgeshire, or the Internal Audit stream, which has jobs available in Cambridgeshire and Rutland.

Financial Management stream

Over the course of the scheme, you will undertake placements in service finance, corporate finance and internal audit, on a 12-month rotation cycle. Each placement will provide you with a varied mix of day-to-day work and key projects, supporting the needs of your CIPFA studies and your development as a public sector finance professional. Opportunities include:

  • supporting a selection of budget managers, providing professional financial advice to maximise their service delivery
  • supporting services through budget setting and monitoring, and advising on resource allocation and savings proposals
  • gaining a knowledge of technical accounting and working across Public Sector organisations
  • developing, completing and reporting on your own Internal Audit assignments to analyse and improve the Council’s control environment.
Internal Audit stream

Trainees will remain based in the audit team, supporting the service in providing independent assurance on the effectiveness of the organisation’s risk management, governance and internal control processes. You will work closely with management to recommend and agree improvements to systems based on your own work, which will include a wide range of assignments across financial audit, contract audit, project management, IT audit and work in social care and fraud investigations. You will also have opportunities to specialise and to work outside of your primary client base, expanding your skillset by undertaking audit work across our audit clients including schools as well as county, district and city councils.

Minimum entry requirements

  • 2:1 undergraduate degree in any discipline
  • 3 Bs (300 UCAS points) at A-Level (or equivalent qualification) 
  • A* - C in Mathematics and English Language at GCSE (or equivalent qualification).

We will also consider offers from those able to demonstrate academic ability up to the standard of a 2:1 undergraduate degree.

Interview/assessment dates

Assessment Centre – 16 August 2019

Final interviews – 20/ 21 August 2019

How to apply

Apply online on the PublicSectorJobsEast website.

Contact Rebecca Bartrum for more information.

Doncaster Council

Doncaster Council - Trainee Professional Accountant

Job details

Job title: Trainee Professional Accountant

Location: Doncaster

Salary: Grade 6 £19,163 with progression criteria up to Grade 9 £32,055

Number of vacancies: One

Application closing date: 12 August 2019

Interview/assessment dates: TBC

Starting date: 1 September 2019

About the organisation

We are passionate about our organisation and firmly believe we have one of the strongest propositions in the country. Building on the strengths of being the UK’s best connected location, Doncaster is transforming the way it looks and feels. Anyone joining our council can look forward to working for a confident, ambitious organisation with big plans to develop further and deliver for our residents, workforce and visitors.

As our Accountancy Apprentice, you will be part of a strong and supportive team, working hard towards developing our financial management service.

Organisation culture/environment

Doncaster Council is committed to meeting the needs of our diverse community where we strive to improve the quality of life for all. We are also committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children, young people and adults and expect all staff to share these commitments.

In return for your hard work and dedication, we can offer you the chance to be part of a great team dedicated to ensuring that all people in Doncaster thrive, whilst gaining a recognised Accountancy qualification. You will also have access to a variety of attractive employee benefits including competitive leave entitlement, local government pension scheme and access to a range of staff discount and flexible benefits schemes. Visit our Working in Doncaster page to find out more.

Key responsibilities

As part of a strong and supportive team, working hard towards developing our financial management service, you will grow with us to improve the support provided to senior managers and partners to assist in decision making. 

This will involve working in partnership with colleagues from partner organisations to ensure Doncaster’s resources are used to achieve the greatest possible impact. Key responsibilities include:

  • working with budget holders and service managers
  • supporting specific project work and service reviews
  • managing the annual cycle of preparing and monitoring revenue and capital budgets
  • closing the accounts and ensuring savings targets are managed and achieved
  • providing high quality financial advice and information to managers and government departments, whilst ensuring the legislative requirements, statutory deadlines, the Council constitution and professional standards are adhered to. 

Knowledge and experience

  • Willingness to complete the academic requirements of the CIPFA qualification whilst in full time employment.
  • Relevant experience assisting in the preparation and monitoring of budgets, providing projections and the closure of accounts.
  • Excellent ICT skills  - fully conversant in use of Microsoft Office programs.
  • An awareness of Public Sector Finance.
  • Knowledge of relevant area of work, basic accountancy/finance skills or an aptitude for numerical calculations.
  • Knowledge of Doncaster Council and service offer.
Applicants must have an open and positive attitude, be enthusiastic and committed and have excellent communication communication and interpersonal skills - both verbal and written. Applicants must also have the ability to work independently following instruction and to answer and ask relevant questions.

Minimum entry requirements

CIPFA Apprenticeship minimum entry level requirements.

Interview/assessment dates


Key contacts

Catherine Anderson, Financial Assurance Manager T: 01302 736611 E: 

Faye Tyas, Head of Financial Management T: 01302 862606, E:  

elmbridge borough council

Elmbridge Borough Council - Trainee Graduate CIPFA Accountant

Job details

Job title: Trainee Graduate, CIPFA Accountant

Location: Esher, Surrey

Salary: £19,931 - £35,223 

Number of vacancies: Two - fixed-term contract for 42 months

Application closing date: Monday 30 September 2019 at 5pm

Interview/assessment dates: Week commencing 4 October 2019

Starting date: ASAP

About the organisation

Elmbridge Borough Council is an organisation of over 350 employees, 48 councillors and countless volunteers. With a gross annual expenditure of over £100M, they work hard to deliver quality public services cost-effectively for the residents of Elmbridge.

As a borough council, they are responsible for services such as waste collection and recycling, housing, planning and parks, playgrounds and green spaces. They are committed to delivering their vision for a confident, cohesive and thriving Elmbridge.

The wellbeing of their employees is vitally important; whether it’s mindfulness, healthy walks or mental health first aid, there are a wide range of opportunities available to you. After all, when you thrive, Elmbridge thrives.


Please visit the Elmbridge Borough Council website for information on benefits.

Minimum entry requirements

In addition to being enthusiastic and willing to contribute to strong team environment, you will:

  • be a graduate with an honour degree (first or 2:1)
  • have a high standard if numeracy and accuracy
  • be able to complete task within deadlines
  • have an excellent working knowledge of spreadsheets and
  • be able to communicate effectively.

Key contacts

Catherine Malloy,

How to apply

To apply, fill out the application form.

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.

Leeds City Council

Sheffield City Council - CIPFA Graduate Trainee

Job details

Job title: Level 7 Apprentice (Graduate) Finance Officer

Location: Sheffield

Salary: Starting salary of pay scale point 21 (currently £25,801), to pay scale point 23 (currently £26,999)

Number of vacancies: Three

Application closing date: 27 September 2017

Interview/assessment dates: Week commencing 30 October 2017 - initial selection centre and final interviews

Starting date: January 2020 (subject to obtaining references)

About the organisation

Sheffield City Council is looking for a number of graduates to join its Finance and Commercial Services team, to provide efficient and effective financial and commercial support to the service’s internal and external customers. 

The council is offering a three and a half year fully-funded Masters Level Apprenticeship programme, leading to a professional accountancy qualification through the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). It will be on a three and a half year fixed term contract, with the potential to progress within the organisation on successful completion of the qualification.

Key Responsibilities

The role will require the successful trainee to commit to studying for the CIPFA qualification, alongside work responsibilities within Finance and Commercial Services, providing support for a defined area of work. These may include involvement in:

  • advice and information
  • financial accounting
  • management accounting
  • capital programme mentoring
  • project advice and control
  • procurement and supply chain
  • internal audit
  • engaging in a culture of continuous improvement across the service.

Minimum entry requirements

A Bachelor’s degree of 2:1 or above preferred (a 2:2 degree would be considered for outstanding candidates), three A Levels grades A-C in any subject, GCSE grades A-C in Maths and English.

Interview/assessment dates

Week commencing 28 October - online interactive test.

Week commencing 4 November - final interviews.

The selection process is likely to include:
  • verbal and numerical reasoning tests
  • a written test
  • a presentation on a given subject
  • a panel interview.

How to apply

The role profile and application documents can be found on the Sheffield City Council jobs website.

Please quote job reference 900276. You must complete both the application form and the equal opportunities monitoring form and email to

Please do not mark your email as Private and Confidential as this can cause problems when opening the attachment.

For informal queries about working in the Council, contact: or

For information about the CIPFA professional qualification route, please see the CIPFA website.