Britain’s leading accountancy firms are aiming to recruit bright, young finance professionals through school-leaver training programmes, in addition to university graduates .
The Guardian reports that PricewaterhouseCoopers, Deloitte, Ernst and Young and KPMG have each established training courses designed specifically for top A-Level graduates in response to fears that increasing university tuition fees could prevent many of the country’s brightest prospects from entering higher education .
KPMG has announced a six-year programme for school leavers with at least 300 UCAS points, which will provide its young recruits with a full accountancy qualification as well as a degree .
Run in conjunction with Durham University and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW), the programme will offer school leavers a starting salary of £20,000 while they study and workg part-time for KPMG .
Oliver Tant, UK head of audit at KPMG, said: “We are really excited about this scheme. For us, one of the key things is to ensure fair access to the profession by ensuring the greatest number of young people possible go to university, and also have the potential to train as an accountant .”
“We need an accountancy profession that is as diverse and as open as it can be. This scheme will address current concerns around how students can meet the costs of university, and make degrees and professional qualifications available to a broader socio-economic group.”
Stephen Isherwood, head of graduate recruitment at Ernst &Young, commented: “With rising tuition fees and living costs, students are considering their next move after A-levels more carefully than in previous years. University is no longer the default; they are looking at all the options available.”