Accenture recruit 1,700 people in the UK

03 August 2017 4 min. read
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Professional services firm Accenture has announced the hiring of roughly 1,700 people before the end of the FY17 financial year. The move comes on the back of a massive campaign of expansion by the organisation, as the consultancy prepares to compete in a booming digital consulting market, amid the economic uncertainty of Brexit Britain. 

Accenture has announced the recruitment of around 1,700 people during its FY17 fiscal year, marking a significant investment in the local technology talent pool during a challenging period for the UK. More than 500 of these positions are in high-growth areas robotics, cyber defence, AI and VR, as Accenture continues to help clients drive innovation and deliver digital transformation – a key aim for UK-based businesses looking to cut costs and maximise profits in the uncertain environment that has been created by faltering Brexit negotiations.

These digital and tech capabilities have the potential to boost the UK economy exponentially. Accenture forecast that AI alone could potentially add an additional $814 billion to the UK economy by 2035, increasing the annual growth rate of GVA from 2.5 to 3.9%. Businesses are targeting automation via AI as a potential cost-cutter in uncertain times, in spite of the recent projection of digital disruption, which suggested AI may only replace 19% of the UK jobs it ends.

Regardless of the longer term implications of digital disruption, the recent investment in 1,700 new roles by Accenture has already won praise from beleaguered Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, who has been under increasing pressure since the government failed to win an outright majority in June’s snap election. Since then, the minority Conservative cabinet has been engaged in negotiations with the EU, pending the implementation of Brexit in 2019, which have reportedly seen the UK executive unable to win key concessions due to their diminished mandate – suggesting turbulent times for the UK economy are on the horizon.

40,000 investment banking jobs alone are reportedly under threat in the UK as a result, and so Hammond was keen to stress the importance of investments like Accenture’s. “This investment is a vote of confidence in our plan to build a stronger economy. These jobs will be filled around the country in cutting-edge sectors where Britain leads the world, such as cyber security, robotics and virtual reality,” the Chancellor argued. 

Accenture to recruit 1700 people in the UK

The consulting firm, who recently announced a $1.8 billion global acquisition plan, has been undergoing a period of rapid expansion, as Accenture aims to tap into the increasingly lucrative digital consulting market.

In the UK in particular, the firm has put in major investment, launching a Liquid Studio in London earlier in 2017, in order to provide clients with a collaborative working space where they can experiment with technologies including AI and Internet of Things, along with an Innovation Centre for Finance & Risk on its Newcastle Campus. The new centre develops solutions for finance and risk data management, data engineering, advanced analytics, AI and reporting, and comes as part of a growing trend in the wider consulting industry which has seen BDO, McKinsey and Synechron, among others, open such centres.

“Accenture’s growing workforce marks our ongoing commitment to the UK as we continue to help our clients navigate through a period of unprecedented change and digital disruption,” said Olly Benzecry, chairman and senior managing director for Accenture in the UK and Ireland. “It’s an incredibly exciting time to be at Accenture as we work with organisations to unlock value through innovation."

Accenture has recruited approximately 600 entry level employees alone this year, along with commencing the training of 40 technology apprentices, as the company broadens its recruitment pipeline to attract a diverse range of talented individuals including school leavers and graduates. Commenting on the continued investment in new personnel, Benzecry concluded, “As new technologies rapidly impact every aspect of our lives, from progress in AI to the increasing threat of cyber crime, we are taking on people who possess the skills required to help our clients to succeed in the digital economy. In return, we offer them the opportunity to work with those technologies that are transforming the way we live and work.”