Grant Thornton ups its school leaver intake to 80

26 September 2019 3 min. read
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Global professional services firm Grant Thornton has increased its school leaver intake, as the company attempts to increase its social diversity. Rising by around 10% on last year’s figures, some 80 positions have been offered to school leavers.

According to various studies, improved social mobility in the UK could add as much as £170 billion to the UK economy. As part of efforts to broaden the talent pools of the professional services industry in particular, focus has increasingly shifted toward firms picking up promising school leavers via traineeships.

Earlier in September this saw consulting and auditing firm RSM admit 400 new graduates and trainees to its ranks across the UK. BDO followed suit, with some 370 trainees arriving at the firm’s 17 UK office locations as of 6th September, with another 60 scheduled to join in December 2019.

Grant Thornton ups its school leaver intake to 80

Now, Grant Thornton has also announced its annual school leaver intake is also on the rise. The firm states that school leavers now represent around a quarter of Grant Thornton’s total trainee intake across the country, with its total number of school leaver positions having risen 10% in 2019 to 80 new recruits. Illustrating how rapidly Grant Thornton has expanded this aspect of its intake, that represents four times the number hired in 2011, when only 19 school leavers joined the firm.

Speaking of his experiences with the scheme as he began his third year on Grant Thornton’s school leaver programme, Audit Associate Glenroy Dacosta remarked, “When I was in sixth form, the norm was for everyone to go to university to get a degree; but this is not the only option. The apprenticeship route has allowed me to pursue the career I’ve always wanted and opened doors that I thought were firmly shut to me. The firm has been really supportive and involved me in challenging, interesting work from the start, with a wide variety of clients and some fantastic people.”

Seven students set to join the firm’s school leaver programme this year first joined Grant Thornton through Access Accountancy – a work experience programme aimed at ensuring everyone has equal access to the accountancy profession – of which Grant Thornton is a founding signatory. The new arrivals have joined the firm for a five-year programme during which they work with a cross-section of clients whilst also studying for professional accountancy qualifications. School leavers at the firm first complete relevant higher apprenticeships before going on to complete professional chartered accountancy qualifications.

Commenting on the news, Grant Thornton’s UK Head of Resourcing, Richard Waite, said, “More young people are considering different routes after leaving school, with some preferring to secure a professional apprenticeship over higher education. Our school leaver programme offers the same opportunities as our graduate scheme but allows participants to enter the world of work earlier and earn a salary, at the same time as studying for their qualifications.”