Cassandra MacDonald - Head of Professional Apprenticeships, Kaplan


Having graduated with a degree in History, Cassie qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG in 2004 before joining Kaplan as an Accountancy tutor in 2007. It was here she discovered a passion for Apprenticeships and the opportunities they offer through teaching AAT and moved to head up the national AAT provision in 2011. During her time in this role, Cassie has been responsible for the design and development of Kaplan’s Professional Services Apprenticeships in Audit, Tax and Management Consulting.  

In 2014 she joined the working group of the L4 Professional Accountancy Technician Trailblazer and has been heavily involved in this cross-sector initiative to design Kaplan’s assessment plan, which will inform how Accountancy Apprenticeships are delivered in the future. 

Cassie is passionate about championing Apprenticeships and last year led an award winning campaign to employers providing advice on recruiting school leavers. 


The campaign involved a whitepaper based on employer research and also included a number of events at which The Edge Foundation and Grant Thornton were among the guest speakers.



The Talent Grab: Attracting the best school leavers in an increasingly crowded market-place

Even before the Levy was announced, employers were finding it more and more difficult to attract good school leavers. With the Levy drawing ever closer, this competition for talent is only going to get more intense as many leading employers lay out plans to dramatically increase their school leaver intakes.

Last year Kaplan spoke to over 130 employers about their experiences of recruiting school leavers which resulted in an award winning whitepaper. We have continued to speak to and survey employers on this area and would propose to share our most recent research findings with the conference audience and lead a question and answer session on their thoughts and experiences on areas such as schools engagement, where to advertise, the importance of academics and assessment centres.