Leading business and financial adviser, Grant Thornton UK LLP Southampton, has welcomed five new starters to its team through its school leaver and graduate programme.
Keenan Pillay, Beth Windibank, Rachel Brett and Robin Welding have begun their careers at the firm in its five-year school leaver programme, while Charles Keenan has entered the three-year graduate programme from the University of Bath. They arrive following success in a comprehensive interview process and join Emily Davis, Dan Shaw and Sabrina Webster who started their career with the firm earlier in the summer.
The firm has removed academic barriers to entry, widening access to young people of all backgrounds. Seventeen per cent of Grant Thornton’s UK intake in 2016 would have been previously unable to apply based on criteria which included secondary school performance and degree classification.
Grant Thornton’s school leaver programme offers participants full time work experience for five years, along with professional accountancy training. Trainees complete accountancy courses at Bradenham Manor in High Wycombe throughout the course of the programme and will also complete the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) professional qualifications through Kaplan. Those in the three-year graduate programme also complete the ACA qualification during this time.
School leaver, Beth Windibank, said: “I had a week’s work experience at Grant Thornton before applying to the school leaver programme, and in that short period I already knew I wanted to return for full time work. The atmosphere and culture is really unique – everyone is welcoming and there is always someone to turn to for questions and support. It’s great that everyone has time for you, knowing that you’re new to the job.”
Graduate, Charles Keenan, adds: “From the start of the interview process, Grant Thornton was timely and helpful with its feedback, encouraging me on an individual level to strive for the role. I’ve found the same supportive environment since I’ve started, and have already learned so much having been able to work with a variety of teams completing different tasks for audits.”
Norman Armstrong, partner at Grant Thornton’s UK LLP’s Southampton office, said: “We are thrilled to have welcomed five new starters to our office here in Southampton, especially these young and talented people, taking advantage of our school leaver and graduate programmes. The region is bursting with talent and it’s great that our programmes welcome those who are choosing to not go onto further education and provide them with a platform to realise their career potential. We are proud to be widening access to opportunity, regardless of background and continue our work nurturing the future of our vibrant economy.”