College students from across Liverpool and the Wirral have taken part in a work experience scheme of Grant Thornton. The programme is part of a series of measures launched by the business advisory group to be more inclusive in the way it attracts bright people.
Roughly two years ago, Grant Thornton changed its recruitment process for entry level programmes. It ripped up the rule book by removing academic entry requirements and today takes a more holistic approach to spotting new talent. As part of the approach, which underpins the firm’s broader commitment towards improved social inclusion, the business advisory has established a work experience scheme that is open to students without a university degree.
After a successful trial in Manchester in 2015, the accounting and consulting firm rolled out its social inclusivity initiative to its Liverpool office* and 15 sixth formers spent a week at the firm’s base in the iconic Royal Liver Building, learning about the advisory profession and getting top career tips. The schools participating in the scheme included: Archbishop Beck Catholic Sports College in Walton, Calderstones College in Allerton, Weatherhead High School, Wallasey, Birkenhead High School, Broadgreen International School and Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School in West Derby.During the week the Year 12 students undertook a series of exercises on audit, tax and other business advisory projects, met and presented to Grant Thornton colleagues and also spent a day with training provider Kaplan learning how to develop effective presentation skills. They ended the week with a client pitch presentation to a North West Audit Partner and Manager from the local office.
Emma Stoddart, a newly-promoted partner at Grant Thornton in Liverpool says: “We were delighted to welcome the students to our office. They impressed us all with their attitude and capability. Hopefully they will have been inspired to enter our profession and will also have acquired new skills as they embark on the start of their career journeys.”
The commitment to the students doesn’t end after the week, however, with each student provided a mentor from the firm to help them with their future thinking and career plans. The students will also be invited to attend a skills/employability session with the Grant Thornton recruitment team, where they will be given tips on writing their CV, filling-in job and university application forms, as well as coaching on interview technique and assessment day advice.
* Grant Thornton employs 450 people in Manchester and Liverpool.