Class of 2018 breaks record at Grant Thornton

David Hillan (centre), practice leader at Grant Thornton in Birmingham, pictured with some of the firm's new trainees. Photo credit: Dave Warren/Picture Team

Business and financial adviser Grant Thornton in Birmingham has welcomed its largest new trainee intake on record.

Grant Thornton’s 37 new recruits, including 15 graduates and seven school leavers, are embarking on training programmes across the firm’s audit, tax and advisory services teams leading to a range of professional qualifications.

Three new starters are joining Grant Thornton in Birmingham for the first time through an apprenticeship scheme organised by Leadership Through Sport and Business, a national social mobility charity that gives bright, ambitious young people who face disadvantage access to careers in accounting and finance.

David Hillan, practice leader at Grant Thornton in Birmingham, said: “Without exception, all of our new starters in Birmingham have demonstrated real potential for future success and a connection with our values, which include collaboration, leadership, excellence and respect.

“More than ever we’re tapping into pools of talent that large professional services organisations have often ignored. Locally and nationally we actively target schools with above average levels of disadvantage, as well as non-Russell group universities to widen access. This approach leads to a more diverse intake that brings a breadth of perspective which strengthens our firm.”

Across the UK, over 300 individuals secured a training contract at Grant Thornton this year, with 16 per cent starting straight from school. In April Grant Thornton was awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in the ‘Promoting Opportunity’ category in recognition of the firm’s actions to help improve social mobility in the workplace. In 2013 it was the first professional services firm to drop academic barriers to entry and made a number of changes to the way it assesses entry level talent, including the introduction of an online interviewing platform and providing coaching pre and post interview.

Hillan concluded: “Increasing social mobility is a practical way for businesses to make a difference, to do well by doing good, while boosting diversity in their workforce. We know that our approach leads to improved organisational performance and a better outcome for clients. And, with skills issues at the top of many organisations’ agendas, widening access and nurturing our potential leaders of the future has got to be good news for all of us.”