Internships could help budding accountants get ahead

Accountants might be interested to learn that graduate recruitment rates in the profession appear to have peaked after displaying significant growth over the last three years.

The Graduate Market in 2012 report from High Fliers, shows that accountancy firms have historically come at the top of the graduate intake charts. Recruitment increased by 13.8% year on year last year, but data for this year shows a 0.1% decrease.

Richard Irwin, head of student recruitment at PwC, said the accounting profession has invested heavily in graduate recruitment and has now paused for breath. Despite the recession, graduates have continued to look favourably on accountancy as a career because it provides a high level of training and excellent career progression prospects.

A third of the top 100 recruiters surveyed by High Fliers, said that preference will be given to graduates who have undertaken an internship in their organisation and they will take up around a third of this year’s entry-level positions.

PwC is the largest graduate recruiter this year and it has confirmed that former interns will take up 25% of its 1,200 available graduate openings. In September last year, PwC took on 30 interns who had spent their summer with the company.

Gaenor Bagley, head of people at PwC, explained that the hunt for potential chartered accountants begins the first day they arrive on campus, and in some cases even before they have left school.

PwC will be supporting the Higher Apprenticeship programme, which will launch in March 2015. The government-backed programme will provide apprenticeships for 1,500 young people focusing on audit, management consultancy and tax.

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