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Thirty new starters have joined Danbro accountancy

The growth reflects a change in pace as the Blackpool-based accountancy company which specialises in the freelance and contractor market prepares to relocate to a showcase headquarters in Lytham over Christmas.

The firm, which now has more than 180 employees, and around 7000 clients, expects to double its workforce within three to five years of relocating to Jubilee House, the former Land Registry base, on the edge of Lytham Green.

There’s a major push, under director of people and standards Helen Broughton’s lead,  to drive up recruits to payroll as well as accountancy. A key incentive for young people is the chance to earn and learn and follow a defined career path – as more choose to avoid student debt and seek apprenticeships or other opportunities.

Lynn Potter, training and development coordinator for the Danbro Group, took over as tutor for IAB (International Association of Book Keepers) Payroll apprenticeships in December.

“Of the 15 who sat the final exam in June, 11 passed, five are resitting and expected to pass. Four have started a CIPP (Chartered Institute of Payroll and Pensions) three year foundation degree in payroll, six – plus two more – are starting a one year CIPP payroll technician course.

Fifteen employees are now attending  IAB level two payroll course classes on a Tuesday from 4pm-6pm in our training room – all of which will receive an apprenticeship certificate.

In August we took on eight new accountancy apprentices, all of which are studying AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). Currently we have 18 employees studying various levels of AAT and 18 studying ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) and two CIMA (Chartered Institute of Management Accountants). One employee became fully qualified in ACCA IN August.

“Danbro supports all training by funding all tuition, books, registration and exam fees, paying minimum wage or above throughout – not the apprentice wage. The only thing Danbro asks of the employees is to give their time and attend classes evenings or weekends. It’s the best of both worlds.”

One of Danbro’s new starters Scarlett Spencer, 18,  opted out of going to university after studying finance, business and law at Blackpool Sixth Form. She is now a junior accounting assistant.

Scarlett explains: “University meant everything to my friends – but for me it meant a load of debt I didn’t want and no experience of working life. It didn’t interest me. I think the recession changed attitudes because people were under pressure to go to uni, and leave with a load of debt and the same qualifications I can get here - just by learning while I am learning. 

“I’ve joined at the best of times – just ahead of the move to Lytham. I do a five day week and then college – doing level two AAT - one night a week, then move to level three  and two nights. You get a day off for exams. It’s a lot of work but a great opportunity.  Some of Danbro’s new starters have come out of university. I feel I am getting a head start.”

Damian Broughton, managing director, says: "We're not the kind of people to get overwhelmed by change, or expectations, growth, the scale of the building or the future. We are structuring the business  to ensure we're in the best possible shape to move into Jubilee House in December  - and push Danbro forwards.

"It will have a big impact on the local economy and for us. it  help us progress people and aspirations. It will also be fantastic to work out of one base in a great location and which offers room to grow.”

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