Grant Thornton East Midlands invests in future talent

A Leicestershire school leaver and a clutch of graduates have secured places on the 2017 trainee programme at the East Midlands office of top 10 business and financial advisory firm Grant Thornton UK LLP.

The six trainees are school leaver Jonathan Abbott, and graduates Kharan Patel, Harika Iridag, Yue Cao, Katherine Singh and Emma Hall, who all now begin their new careers in the firm’s audit and tax services teams while studying for a range of professional accountancy qualifications.

Nationally, a record-breaking 12,000 school leavers and graduates applied for one of the 300 places available this year on Grant Thornton’s widely recognised trainee programme.

Owen Butler, Senior Business Partner at Grant Thornton, is responsible for the people experience in the East Midlands office. He said: “Credit must be given to our six trainees for beating off such stiff competition for places on our programme this year. Each of them impressed our recruiters and senior team with their enthusiasm for the firm and ambition for the future.

“All trainees are an important element of our investment in the growth plans for our East Midlands business, alongside a number of senior hires in the last few months. Additionally, we have a strong track record for ‘growing our own’, with a high percentage of our advisors and senior team originally joining the firm as trainees themselves, so it’s little surprise that our school leavers and graduate trainee programmes are growing in appeal year on year.”

Graduate Harika Iridag explains that the firm’s inclusive ethos was a particular appeal when she applied to join the trainee programme: “Grant Thornton is committed to delivering a high level of customer service for all clients alongside nurturing individuality and supporting personal development for all its staff, and I’m looking forward to working with clients, being part of the audit team, whilst developing my personal and professional skills.”

Emma Hall agrees: “I was attracted by the firm’s ethos, especially the level of support it gives its trainees. The attention paid to me throughout the application process further confirmed my interest and I am looking forward to experiencing the good quality of training and learning new skills.”

School leaver Jonathan Abbott, who begins his training contract in the Audit team, adds: “I spent a week on work experience at the Leicester office and the positive, friendly atmosphere was clear to see and I really wanted to be a permanent member of the team.”

Four years ago, Grant Thornton removed academic barriers to entry to open up a new pool of talent and increase opportunities for a more diverse range of people. Owen explains: “We were one of the first professional services firms to do this, as we realised that the best people for us might not always be the most academic but may have other great skills and qualities to offer the firm and our clients.

“As such, our innovative recruitment process aims to spot those with the greatest potential and who have characteristics that not only make them ideal professional advisers, but also other attributes such as an ability to spot opportunities, a natural curiosity and keenness to learn.”

Grant Thornton was recently ranked top employer in the Social Mobility index, a joint initiative between the Social Mobility Foundation and the Social Mobility Commission in partnership with the City of London Corporation. It is currently ranked the top accountancy firm to work for by Glass Door, one of the UK’s fastest growing jobs and recruiting sites, and is named as one of the 50 most attractive employers in the world in an annual survey of more than 290,000 business and engineering/IT students by employer brand specialist Universum.

The firm has its East Midlands office in Leicester, where it has approximately 160 staff providing business and financial advice across Corporate and Personal Tax, audit and assurance, employer solutions, corporate finance, and sustainability, to organisations across the East Midlands.