Accountants, business and financial advisers Kreston Reeves has been rated ‘good’ in its first Ofsted inspection. It is one of the first times Ofsted has inspected an accountancy firm as an Employer Training Provider.
Kreston Reeves, with more than 500 people in offices across London, Kent and Sussex, first secured its accredited Employer Training Provider status in 2018 and currently has 104 apprentices working across all areas of the firm.
Ofsted gave Kreston Reeves a ‘good’ rating across all aspects of its training and support, including personal development, behaviour and attitudes, leadership and management, and provision for learners with high needs.
It is one of the first times an accountancy firm with Employer Training Provider status has been inspected by Ofsted and marks a significant movement by Kreston Reeves and the wider profession towards encouraging greater diversity and inclusion and new routes into the profession.
Sharn Manku, HR Director at Kreston Reeves, said: “This is a terrific achievement for everyone at Kreston Reeves, including our apprentices. We’re enormously proud of our training and education programme that encourages young people into the profession straight from school and college.
“The accountancy profession has historically favoured university graduates, meaning that it has missed out on a terrific and talented pool of individuals. The firm’s efforts to achieve Employer Training Provider status and this Ofsted rating clearly demonstrates our commitment in this area and the value of the apprenticeship route into the profession. It’s important to us that we are an employer of choice.”
The Ofsted inspectors said in their report that “apprentices enjoy their learning”, “rapidly develop knowledge, skills and behaviours they need to succeed in the sector”, “benefit from a strong and inclusive culture”, and “enjoy a wide range of activities outside their core programme that helps them become responsible citizens and active in the local community”.
Karen Thompson, Head of Learning and Development at Kreston Reeves, adds: “We are enormously proud of our apprenticeship programme. It does more than help us attract and build homegrown talent, it proactively addresses social mobility and reflects the communities in which we work.
“Our apprentices are creating the tax, audit and advisory partners of tomorrow, they will be the management teams accountancy firms need. This first Ofsted inspection shows us that it is an approach that is working.”