School leavers scramble for finance roles

Elizabeth Fournier
AS students across the country wake up today to collect their A-level results, several City firms have announced initiatives to encourage school leavers into finance and business roles.

In an attempt to lure pupils away from the conventional route of a university degree, accountancy firm KPMG said yesterday it has doubled the number of training places available to A-level students, after receiving 1,500 applications for the scheme’s existing 75 places.

Fellow big four player PwC said applications to its own entry scheme had risen by 34 per cent by last year, with 2,352 applicants for the 100 places available from this autumn.

“There’s a generation of students weighing up their career and training options differently, whether because of university fees, economic forecasts or graduate unemployment, and employers have to adapt,” said PwC’s Gaynor Bagley.

Ernst & Young, meanwhile, is encouraging school leavers to apply early to its summer internships – 90 per cent of which it aims to convert to graduate jobs.

About 84,000 students are expected to get top AAB+ grades this year, and for the first time there is no limit on the number of places universities can offer that demand these results.