The best time to be a Trainee Accountant?
September tends to be when accounting firms employ new intakes of staff: usually graduate trainees. And while a university degree might traditionally have been an absolute must for those wishing […]
September tends to be when accounting firms employ new intakes of staff: usually graduate trainees. And while a university degree might traditionally have been an absolute must for those wishing to excel in accounting, firms are becoming increasingly more open to accepting candidates at different levels, in particular, apprentices and school leavers.
It was reported recently that one of the big four firms, KPMG, employed 181 apprentices in their latest 2017 intake, a 40% increase on the 129 taken on in 2016, bringing the total number of apprentices recruited by the firm to 387. And that’s just the start of the story: with growing numbers of opportunities like this in firms up and down the country, aspiring accountants for whom achieving a university degree might not be possible should still feel confident in achieving their dream career via an alternative pathway.
KPMG’s new apprentices join either their 360⁰ apprenticeship programme (allowing them to experience all areas of the firm, before choosing to specialise in a particular field),or the 360⁰ Business Services programme (which enables individuals to gain experience in administrative roles, facilities and creative design while achieving level three in business administration).
It’s also good to see a national spread of such opportunities, encouraging participation all over the UK: while a third of KPMG’s new cohort begin their training in London, apprentices are also being welcomed to regional offices in Birmingham, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Watford and Nottingham.
Diversity of talent
Kathryn Robert, apprenticeship programmes lead at KPMG in the UK, said: “Over the last three years our apprenticeship schemes have become an increasingly important part of our recruitment strategy. We believe that recruiting a combination of graduates and apprentices encourages a wide range of people with different skills and experiences to join us – all of which contributes to the diversity of thought we are able to bring to our clients.
“A central component of expanding our schemes involves making different locations available to our apprentices, ensuring we are able to access previously untapped talent pools around the country.”
In similar news, top 10 firm BDO also recently announced that 201 new trainees had joined the firm, with an additional 83 due to join in November.
The new trainees include 210 graduates but also 74 school leavers, who will join various teams across the firm’s UK offices, including its tax, audit and advisory streams. The trainees were selected from a record of over 9000 applications, a 50% increase from the previous year.
BDO’s latest intake follows the firm’s new recruitment strategy aimed at attracting millennials from a range of social and educational backgrounds, in order to get a more diverse and talented workforce.
Paul Eagland, managing partner at BDO said: “I am proud and privileged to be welcoming so many talented individuals through our doors. At BDO we encourage our people to shape their careers according to their strengths, skills and personality – rather than their education and experience – and our approach to recruitment has helped us attract more people from different walks of life.
“As the profession evolves with technology and the demands of modern society, it’s the commercial and personal skills of our new trainees that will help us stay ahead of the competition and create business advisers fit for the future.”
Like these big firms, at Reed Business School we encourage anyone at any age, experience level or level of educational attainment to succeed in accounting, and provide professional training at all levels. Check out the range of qualifications you can achieve with us.