Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

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

Finance the Future

Finance the Future - Local Government Graduate Finance Programme

Job details

Organisation: Local Government

Job title: Local Government Graduate Finance Programme

Location: London

Start date: From July 2021 - while most boroughs will start their graduate programme from September 2021, some may start earlier

Salary (£): Competitive

The scheme aims to bring together local authorities and other public services annually to recruit and train graduates who want to pursue a career in public finance. It’s all about putting talented graduates through a secure, four year programme that will form the first part of their journey towards senior management.

Your opportunity to make a difference

If you’re looking for a challenging and rewarding career where you can make a real impact on real people’s lives, then the Local Government Graduate Finance Programme is for you.

Every year, the scheme brings together local authorities and other public services to recruit and train graduates who want to pursue a career in public finance. This year, you have the opportunity to join one of nine London boroughs on a four-year contract, during which time you’ll gain exposure to every aspect of public finance while studying towards the prestigious Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) Professional Qualification.

The scheme is designed to give you the experience, knowledge and understanding you need to be a future leader in the world of public finance. It provides a rich variety of training and exposure, with opportunities to contribute to all kinds of project initiatives and operational work that will be tailored to your development needs.

Some of the many areas you could get involved in include budget preparation and monitoring, payroll, pensions, treasury, systems, internal audit and accounting. By the end of the scheme, you’ll have the qualifications, confidence and know-how to take on the first big management challenge of your career.

Minimum entry requirements

  • Minimum 2:1 degree in any subject (expected or achieved)
  • GCSE Maths and English or equivalent (Grade 4 or above)
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills
  • Strong numeracy and computer literacy
  • Availability from July 2021 (while most Boroughs will start their Graduate Programme from September, some may commence earlier).


Four years working, training and studying on this scheme will prepare you for senior management roles in public sector finance, where you’ll have the chance to influence key decisions that enhance thousands of people’s lives.

From day one, you’ll enjoy:

  • job security provided by a fixed-term four-year contract
  • excellent benefits including competitive salary, pension scheme and generous holiday allowance
  • flexible working environment with strong commitment to work/life balance.


How to apply

Visit the Finance the Future website for more information and to apply.  

For enquiries, call 01635 584143 or email

Apply now

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.

norfolk county council

Apprentice Trainee - CIPFA Accountant

Job details

Job title: Apprentice Trainee - CIPFA accountant

Location: County Hall, Norwich

Salary: £22,183 to £24,491 per annum

Number of vacancies: 1

Application closing date: 10 January 2021

About the organisation

Norfolk County Council is a top tier local authority providing vital public services to approximately 900,000 residents. 

We are seeking to recruit a trainee CIPFA accountant - an individual committed to becoming a finance professional over the next 3 years and displaying the potential to become a future manager.

This post provides an excellent opportunity to work in a large central finance department supporting all areas of a large and complex organisation which is going through a period of significant transformational change.  Training and study will take place via a level 7 apprenticeship. You must show commitment to studying and attend all training throughout the apprenticeship, and time will be provided for this during working hours. 

About the role

You will be mentored by colleagues during placements across the finance function, including statutory accounting, financial project, budget monitoring and audit, each lasting approximately 9 months.You will be adaptable, working in different teams, supporting non-financial and financial colleagues at all levels within the organisation.

As your skills develop through the apprenticeship, you will be given greater levels of responsibility and autonomy. The salary of this role will increase as the individual’s knowledge and skills develop.

You will be expected to display good numerical and communications skills, IT literacy and problem-solving ability.Full details of the job role are set out in the full job description.

We encourage a blended approach to office and home-based work as part of our Smarter Working plans.  All our office-based roles are currently working from home and we ask that you arrange to have in place good Broadband connectivity.  Our technology platform and equipment is first class and will enable you to connect and collaborate remotely.  When offices re-open your office base will be County Hall, Norwich, and we anticipate that working remotely and independently will continue to be a feature of this role, including your study commitments.

Interview/assessment dates

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to take numerical and verbal tests, with on-line interviews programmed to take place towards the end of January 2021

Key contacts

For an informal discussion regarding this vacancy, please contact Howard Jones, Corporate Accounting Manager:

01603 222832

Read the full job description on the Norfolk County Council website

Royal Borough of Kingston and London Borough of Sutton - Shared Finance Service

Job details

Job title: Assistant Accountant Apprentice

Location: Kingston and Sutton

Salary: £12,579

Number of vacancies: Two

Application closing date: Wednesday 10 February 2021

Interview/assessment dates: 15-23 February 2021, to be conducted virtually in line with Government Guidance in relation to COVID-19.

Starting date: April 2021

About the organisation

Kingston and Suttons Shared Finance Service was established in April 2017 and provides financial services to the London Borough of Sutton and the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames. We have many customers including, front-line council services, Councillors, residents, council owned companies, businesses and partner organisations from other sectors. We deliver professional accountancy and financial management, commercial advice and expert analysis, innovative finance operations and financial inclusion services for vulnerable residents.

We have achieved a lot in our first four years of operation and are ambitious in our vision to do more. We were delighted to have been shortlisted for a 2020 Public Finance Award for Alternative Service Delivery Model of the Year. These awards celebrate the best in public finance services and recognise inspiration, innovation and exceptional achievement.

Sutton and Kingston are both highly ambitious councils delivering leading edge public services that are transforming their communities and improving the lives of their residents. The shared finance service plays an essential role in enabling and supporting both councils to be successful by achieving excellent outcomes for residents. We are proud of what we have achieved in our first three years and motivated to achieve even more through bringing new talent into our team to help us take the next steps.

Key responsibilities

We are offering two roles as an Assistant Accountant Apprentice where you will be involved in a wide variety of work – everything from processing transactional items into our finance systems, working closely with other team members to resolve queries and using your own initiative to improve financial processes.

This apprenticeship role is within the Financial Planning and Business Partnering Teams which provides high quality professional advice and support to budget managers and are responsible for the financial planning for both councils. The team is the gateway to the Finance Shared Service (between Kingston and Sutton Councils) for both councils services with the aim of providing seamless finance support to our customers. We provide financial management support and advice across the core financial cycle of budget setting, budget monitoring and closing of the accounts. We act as a critical friend to the business and provide insightful financial analysis to support business improvement and change.

Minimum entry requirements

Please note, in order to qualify for apprenticeship funding you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age and not in full-time education.
  • Hold three A levels or equivalent and a GCSE level 6 equivalent in Maths and English and be able to present original qualification certificates. This apprenticeship would ideally suit someone who has studied Maths or Business Studies at A level but this is not essential.
  • Only apply for an apprenticeship unrelated to any qualifications they hold at the same or higher level than the apprenticeship they wish to apply for. The apprenticeship being applied for must be unrelated in subject and content from the qualification already held.
  • Not be enrolled on another funded apprenticeship or another funded further education or higher education programme at the time you start your new apprenticeship.
  • Have the right to work and study in England and have lived in the UK (ordinarily resident) for the last three years.

Interview/assessment dates

15-23 February 2021, to be conducted virtually in line with Government Guidance in relation to COVID-19. 

How to apply

Apply via the London Borough of Sutton website here.