Adding up to a fantastic future

Johnston Carmichael has a history of supporting young people with career development, so it was natural that they would want to get involved in the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign.
Hundreds of young people, straight from school and university, have gone through the doors of this firm and on to fantastic careers in chartered accountancy and wealth advisory.
Through it all, the students have been supported both in terms of their exams, as well as gaining the experience required to progress in the world of work.

Johnston Carmichael
This combination of development and support is at the heart of what Johnston Carmichael – the largest independent firm of chartered accountants and business advisers in Scotland – does.
Sandy Manson, Johnston Carmichael’s CEO, said: “Nurturing and developing young people is absolutely critical to the long-term success of Johnston Carmichael. We invest in young people so that they’ve got the skill set needed to succeed in the profession. That’s not just technical skills, but interpersonal ones as well.
“There is a lot of ongoing work required by the accountancy profession to communicate the exciting career opportunities that are available. We cannot rest on our laurels when it comes to attracting and retaining future talent.”
Overseeing the company’s training schemes is Iain Abernethy, Career Development Director.
He said there are many different routes for young people to join the firm, which now has 11 offices throughout Scotland and eight business lines.
Those coming out of university can join the company’s graduate scheme, however there are also plenty of opportunities for those who would rather join the working world straight from school.
Four years ago, the JC Futures scheme was launched. This is a six-year programme which allows students to gain extensive practical work experience, while working towards professional accounting qualifications.
During the programme, the students have the opportunity to work in the accounts, audit and tax departments and, at the same time, gain a wealth of experience across the many sectors in which the firm’s client base operate.

Cameron and Gillian
“The support we give the students is bespoke, and on a one-to-one basis. We provide them with study buddies, we find out about their individual approach to studies and we support them in a specific way that will not just help them pass exams, but ensure they are actually learning and retaining knowledge too,” Iain said.
“But it’s not all about qualifications, it’s about these young people developing as professionals as well. A large emphasis of our training is on developing their commercial awareness and equipping our trainees with practical skills and business know-how.”
“We also have a host of other schemes, all of which help our students learn from more senior people in the business about important skills, including commercial mentoring and the opportunity to experience client meetings first hand. These initiatives are designed to develop their confidence and competence, and enable them to approach different situations in an assured and professional manner.”
Johnston Carmichael currently has 115 trainees enrolled on its professional training programmes and is looking to recruit a further 23 in 2016 alone – seven will be through the JC Futures programme with a further 16 coming from university.
And now the firm has announced it will add a further two to its payroll as a pledge to the Press and Journal Apprentice 100 campaign.
“Johnston Carmichael is growing and we are always looking for talent to help fuel that growth across our offices. In turn, what we provide is fantastic training and career progression opportunities,” Iain added.
“We are supporting Apprentice 100 because we are firmly committed to the training and development of our people. This is such a great initiative to promote the flow of talent to the work place and we are delighted to support it.”

To find out more about JC Futures and other training opportunities at Johnston Carmichael, please visit


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