Payroll Career Advice in Schools

Getting young people excited about the world of work is a tricky task at the best of times. And, helping them to see the world as a giant playground full of wonderous career opportunities can be difficult when the careers advice they receive is likely to be limited by their environment.

That’s why Cox & Co. continues to make a concerted effort to make the payroll profession more visible to a young student audience. We frequently visit senior schools in the Bristol and Bath areas where we attend career fairs and deliver career presentations.

It’s a wonderful opportunity to really enthuse hundreds of young people about an industry that exists behind a payslip. For many students they have never heard of a payslip, let alone payroll as a business function. However, when we explain the incredible career opportunities available in the payroll industry they start to take notice.

Work experience placements available

We are keen to offer work experience placements to school and college students to assist them build their skills and understanding of the payroll industry.

The experience a student receives when on placement can help to boost confidence in their transferable skills and make sense of how their school/college learning dovetails into the workplace.

On placement with us a student will learn or improve their knowledge of:

  • MS Word, Powerpoint
  • Creating publications in MS Publisher
  • MS Excel: data manipulation, pivot tables, graphical display, building Macros
  • MS Power BI
  • Payroll and Pension introduction
  • Updating the company website and creating content
  • Creating and editing videos
  • Attend meetings, webinars and training sessions

An industry of many facets

During my recent the presentations I had a mix of students of which some were not sure why they had been relocated to my class. Some students had signed up for the law presentation in the classroom adjacent, but the presenter had not turned up: some had accidentally arrived in my class and were hoping to see a marketing presenter: others an ICT demo and there were students who were hoping to get jobs one day as translators. But, because the payroll industry is so incredibly broad all students left with a sense of: ‘I didn’t know there would be a career for me in the payroll industry”.

Wellsway School, Saltford – Bristol

As I explained to each cohort, the payroll industry is so diverse that it can accommodate all of their interests. By tailoring the content of my presentation to cover legislation and employment law, marketing and policy writing, global payroll and payroll software development I was able to deliver relatable and interesting career choices. Plus expand their knowledge of an industry of which none had heard of before attending.

Access Creative College, Bristol

Where is the future payroll professional?

Payroll Apprenticeships Level 3 and 5 are fairly new (last 5 years), but these educational pathways are already having a profound impact on the industry. Young people are now for the first time ever, able to leave school at 16 or 18 years old and start their payroll career by embarking on a 2 – 5 year dedicated payroll apprenticeship with an employer. Working full time and studying together in a joined up approach is by far the best way to develop the payroll professionals of the future.

Of course students will continue to follow their dreams of going to university to get a degree in their chosen subject. However, the payroll industry need to capitalise on this. It needs to look beyond processing and grasp the graduates of tomorrow and bring them into our world.

It’s up to us, payroll departments, payroll bureaus and accountancy practices to get out there and really promote the amazing growth industry in which we proudly operate in. So, why not consider attending a school career fair as a presenter and ensure the school leavers of tomorrow know about our amazing profession.

Oldfield School, Bath

If you would like Cox & Co. to attend your school career fair, give payroll career advice or payroll knowledge sessions to your students please do get in touch with me.

Tracy Jerram, Commercial Director –