Douglas Home & Co hails five years of inclusive trainee programme

29 September 2023 Consultancy.uk 3 min. read

Professional services firm Douglas Home & Co is celebrating the completion of five years of its trainee programme. The service, now welcoming a sixth year of trainees, that can put a young candidate without a university background on the path to becoming a fully-fledged accountant.

Douglas Home & Co is a accounting and consulting firm which offers compliance, accounting and tax services to clients across the UK. Founded in the 1983 in the Scottish Borders, where it remains headquartered, the firm has since expanded to set up offices in Edinburgh, East Lothian, Cumbria, and Northumberland – and prides itself on providing excellent career prospects across the north of Britain. 

Backing up this reputation, and feeding the firm’s growing demand for talent to meet the needs of its national client-base, the firm launched a trainee programme in 2018. Since its establishment in 2018, the scheme has supported on average two trainees per year since its inception, and so far nine traineeship graduates have worked across various teams in the firm while undertaking further professional qualifications with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT).

Douglas Home & Company hails five years of inclusive trainee programme

Jake Kerr, one of Douglas Home & Co’s former trainees who now works in the firm’s accounts department commented, “Upon leaving school, I was really unsure of what career path I planned to pursue but joining the traineeship scheme was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I’ll likely be qualified at a similar time than if I had opted to go into further education but this way I’ve been able to earn and get really important workplace experience, which I’m confident will stand me in great stead. From the get-go, I was given all the right tools to learn the new trade and have been supported with advice and learnings ever since. The programme has given me an excellent foundation to grow into the industry and get fully qualified.” 

As it celebrates five years of offering a leading trainee experience, the firm hopes its offering can welcome more talent from backgrounds like Kerrs into the professional services sector. Applicants to Douglas Home & Co’s scheme are expected to be educated to National 5 or Higher level, but there is no requirement for higher education experience or qualifications.

The programme has now welcomed its sixth generation of trainee accountants, winning praise for giving young people their start in the accountancy sector, especially those who don’t feel that higher education is a path that suits them. This was echoed by another ex-trainee, Jody Cree, who was one of the first to go through the company’s professional development programme. She has since risen through the ranks, now applying her expertise in the firm’s trust and estate compliance team.   

Cree noted, “I’m very grateful that Douglas Home & Co gave me the opportunity to be a part of their first trainee programme, I’ve never looked back. I’m personally very happy I took this route as opposed to further education. I’ve been able to learn new skills at my own pace and create bonds with the brilliant team here at Douglas Home & Co – it has been a brilliant experience so far.” 

The trainee programme is a reflection of a sustained commitment to talent development within the  firm. Two of its current company directors also rose through the ranks in Douglas Home & Co, having started out as juniors in the firm. Darren Thomson and Sheryl Macaulay are both carried out their training while working at the company. 

Macaulay, who joined as a junior at the firm in 2002, said, “I know first-hand the benefits of training in-house; it opens so much opportunity for daily learnings and provides an incredible support system and career stepping stone. We’re very pleased that the professional development programme continues to go from strength to strength as it celebrates its fifth anniversary this year, it’s rewarding to watch a breadth of young talent come through the system and add fresh-thinking to the firm. As we expand further, it’s important that we keep offering young adults these opportunities.”