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This article first appeared in the Staffordshire Newsletter as a guest column written by Rebecca Nott Senior Manager.

It would seem that accountancy is enjoying a boom in terms of being the industry of choice for young people. It has been several years since accountancy shook off its image as a dull career choice with no prospects of progression but this most recent growth in interest has taken many by surprise.

According to the latest figures, the number of accountancy jobs available in the first quarter of 2018 was almost 25 per cent higher than the same period last year. At the same time, the number of applications for accountancy jobs has shot up by nearly 33 per cent.

Of course, every industry needs young people and accountancy is no different but there are many hardened number crunchers who are scratching their heads about these increases.

Perhaps one reason more young people are being attracted to accountancy is that the salaries on offer were nearly 3 per cent higher in the first quarter of 2018 than in 2017. Overall, wages have been running at 1 per cent above the national average.

Another reason, however, could be that forward-thinking accountancy firms are making the sector more attractive to young people by offering them huge levels of support, encouragement, training and responsibilities. Clearly, young people aren’t unique in that they want to feel valued but with many sectors focusing on a high turnover of staff on zero hours and minimum wage, the best accountancy firms can stand out like a beacon of hope and job security.

Here at Howards, where the average age of employees is 38, we have a good balance of experts and young people with fresh ideas and a different way of looking at issues. Of course, experience is valued extremely highly but so is the potential that so many young people offer to the industry.

Our firm saw record growth in 2017 with the highest ever number of employees, including apprentices. Currently, we have eight Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) students and two Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) students and we continually invest in people who are looking to step on to the first rung of the career ladder. That’s why we have been recognised as an ACCA Gold Status Approved Employer.

Businesses are made up of people and much of our success has been down to delivering customer service through a young, dynamic team that is always looking at how to do things better. We have found that young people embrace change and are not wary of it. They thrive on building strong, person-based yet totally professional relationships with clients and they are equally confident dealing with international PLCs, small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and sole traders.

Our goal is always to guide clients through the increasingly complex world of finance and taxation and help them to become more profitable. The best way to achieve this is not by merely relying on seasoned specialists but also by benefiting from the very best new talent that is coming into the sector in droves. Long may the boom continue.