Training gets green light.

The national training organisation for the accountancy profession will finally be launched next month. The Department for Education and Employment has given the green light for the six accountancy bodies backing ANTO to forge ahead, after sending them back to the drawing board last year. After being endorsed by the DfEE last December, ANTO will act as an independent authority to oversee accountants’ education and training, as well as marketing vocational qualifications within the profession. It will not train accountants itself. Once up and running, ANTO will offer comprehensive guidance on how to acquire the skills and qualifications sought by employers, practical ways to develop skills as well as key information on each industry and career opportunities. Scottish ICA education and training director Mark Alison said: ‘We are fully behind the ANTO. It is an independent board that will cover the whole of the UK. The position of vocational qualifications is important to Scotland. So we very much want to be a part of this.’ Marketing research will also be forming an integral part of its work. ‘The idea is to come up with a map to help government and industry see how many accountants are needed or what accountancy skills need to be improved,’ Alison added. ‘It will be very helpful to all accountants and other industries in the UK.’ NTOs already exist in 76 different industries. ANTO initially will be funded by five of the six accountancy institutes as well as the Association of Accounting Technicians. ACCA withdrew its support last year. Its long-term aim is to be self-financing. Jeanette Purcell, Director of Education and Training at the AAT said: ‘ANTO will provide a completely different role to that of the AAT. We are completely supportive of and committed to ANTO. We consider it to be a contributory and enhancing factor to the AAT.’

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