Graduate recruitment rate slows
Graduate recruitment rates within accountancy have peaked after three consecutive years of significant growth, according to High Fliers.
The market research firm's report, The Graduate Market in 2012, showed accountancy firms historically topped the graduate intake charts. Last year, firms increased their recruitment by 13.8% from 2010 but bucking the trend, figures for 2012 showed a 0.1% drop from the previous year.
Richard Irwin, PwC’s head of HC services student recruitment, said the slow-down is “a pause for thought for further growth” but highlighted the sector’s existing large investment in graduate recruitment.
Graduates continued to view accountancy as a desirable career throughout the recession because of the high level of training and progression route on offer, Irwin said. “It's also has merit in terms of the understanding of business it gives you as well as a fantastic insurance policy for your career, whether that's in industry or staying in professional services,” he added.
A third of the UK's top 100 recruiters surveyed for the report confirmed that graduates who previously interned for their organisations would probably take a third of the entry-level positions filled this year.
PwC, the largest graduate recruiter of 2012, revealed that 25% of its 1,200 graduate vacancies are awarded to former interns. In September 2011, 30 interns joined PwC in September after spending their summer with the firm.
Gaenor Bagley, PwC head of people, said: “The biggest shift over the past few years is that competition for talented students no longer starts in the run up to graduation. Employers start competing for the attention of talented students from their first day on campus, or before they even leave schools and colleges.”
To extend its recruitment drive, PwC is supporting a government-backed Higher Apprenticeship programme. Due to launch in March 2015, the programme will deliver 1,500 apprenticeships focused on tax, audit and management consultancy.