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August 17, 2017

Grant Thornton UK hires four times more school leavers than six years ago

By Stephanie Wix

Grant Thornton UK hires four times more school leavers than six years ago

Grant Thornton UK has revealed that it is hiring 70 A-level school leavers this year compared to the 19 places of intake in 2011.

The increased intake is linked to the firm removing academic barriers to entry in 2015.

School leavers currently represent 26% of Grant Thornton UK’s total trainee intake. Trainees come in for a five year programme working with clients while studying for professional accountancy qualifications. The Association of Graduate Recruiters said that other graduate employers are offering higher apprenticeships to attract talent and build relevant skills as 27% of the 12,300 apprenticeships due to be offered next year are higher apprenticeships.

Most school leaver programmes are around five years as school leavers become qualified by the end of the programme. They study for their qualification for the majority of this time, initially a two year qualification such as AAT which acts as a springboard into ACA, CIPFA, ACCA or CTA for example, a Grant Thornton representative said. They have a level of choice regarding the terms of the qualification and depending on the area of business they choose to work in.

Grant Thornton UK head of resourcing Richard Waite said the best people might not always be the most academic, but may have other skills to offer the firm and its clients.

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“By removing academic barriers to entry, which we also did at degree level, we’ve been able to open up a new pool of talent and increase opportunities for a more diverse range of people,” Waite said.

Lisa Newland, recovery and reorganisation associate, now in her third year of Grant Thornton’s school leaver programme said: “Many accountancy firms wouldn’t hire me onto their trainee schemes so when I heard that Grant Thornton had relaxed its academic requirements I immediately applied. I am now in a job that I love as I am constantly learning and enhancing my understanding of the business environment.”

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