Falmouth and Truro-based Lang Bennetts chartered accountants have taken on three more apprentices, bringing the total they now have under training to five.

Kieran Trewhella, 18, from Truro, Shakira Thomas, 17, from Helston and Joe Hayes, 31, originally from the Isles of Scilly and now living in Constantine, join Ellen Curnow, 20, who is currently in her final year of her three-year apprenticeship, and Jack Beech, 17, from Hayle, who is starting his second year.

Four of the apprentices are studying for their Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) exams – Kieran, Joe and Jack will be starting level three in September and Emma will be starting level four. Shakira, who started working for the company in August, is doing a business administration apprenticeship.

“I did the first year of my A level course but decided I didn’t want to go to university as it wouldn’t give me a direct career path and I’d have a lot of debt by the time I graduated,” said Shakira. “I’ve really enjoyed the work I’ve been doing in the last month.”

Joe describes himself as the "grandad of the group" Brought up on the Isles of Scilly, he worked for his family as a book-keeper while studying for the first two levels of his AAT exams by correspondence course.

“I’m a lot older than my fellow apprentices but I love working at Lang Bennetts because everyone is so friendly and helpful and there’s a really nice atmosphere,” he said. “Going back to college for one day a week will be a bit strange but I’m looking forward it. Combining theory with everyday workplace experience has to be the best way of learning new skills.”

Lang Bennetts has 50 employees and is one of the county’s oldest accountancy firms, with offices in Truro and Falmouth.

“Apprenticeships make up ten per cent of our workforce because we recognise the important part they play in providing us with the talent and skills necessary to keep the firm up-to-date and moving forward,” said Lang Bennetts partner Helen Hood. “Two former apprentices are now on the brink of achieving chartered status and are key members of our team. In our experience, there is no better way of starting and pursuing an accountancy career and both we and our clients reap significant benefits from the apprenticeship scheme.”