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Making the right choices now

There are many different paths to a great career in business. This is why it’s important to explore the options – while holding on to your own individual interests and aspirations. We’re here to help you do that. We’ve created a range of School Leaver and University programmes that let you launch your career in business your way.

Our school and college leaver programmes open up a range of experiences and opportunities – each one packed with challenges and plenty of support. Whether you’re ready for the world of work now and choose our School Leaver programme, or are going to university first and want to gain business experience at the same time, we’ve got the right programme for you.

We’re a large, global firm with many clients who are household names, so whatever programme you choose, you’ll gain invaluable work experience and build a range of skills that will help get you prepared for your career – wherever it takes you.

Register your interest for the new EY apprenticeship programme launching in September 2017

Find out more about the ways in which our people work with our clients to build a better working world.


We are one of the world’s leading professional services firms and we know that successful economies rely on successful businesses.

Our clients include some of the world’s most successful, innovative and respected organisations, spanning all industry sectors. They depend on our people’s ingenuity and creativity to help them grow, pay the right tax and make vital business decisions.

There are four areas of our business, and each helps our clients in different ways. We call them service lines and each one benefits from a range of people with different skills and strengths.

EY - Advisory

Advisory: Advising organisations all over the world to help them solve their complex problems, manage risk, and transform and improve to gain an edge on the competition.

EY - Assurance

Assurance: Our Assurance team check that figures are correct and that a client’s accounting is done properly, which is crucial for maintaining confidence in international markets.

EY - Corporate Finance

Corporate Finance: Helping the world’s businesses to buy, sell and merge to get the best long-term return for their money.

EY - Tax

Tax: Guiding clients all over the world so that they pay the right tax in the right place and at the right time – balancing what’s good for the community and the company.

Experience before you commit

At EY we offer many varied journeys to future success and some will start simply with an initial taste of what working life at EY is like, to give you a better idea of what options are right for you. The experiences we offer are a chance for you to find out about us and us to find out about you. Completing one will boost your CV and help you take the first step towards a successful career.

EY Insight (open evening)

These open evenings for students in Year 11-13 (4th-6th year in Scotland) run in EY offices all over the UK. You’ll get an idea of what your strengths are and how to use them; meet our people, learn how to make a successful application, and get a taste of what life in a leading global business is like.

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the EY Insight you should be studying A levels, Scottish Highers, or equivalent.

Register your place at the next EY Insight event near you

EY Skills Academy

Held in our Glasgow and London offices, the EY Skills Academy is for Year 12/ 5th Year students from across the UK who are focused on a career in business, but also looking for an alternative to university route. During the two day Academies, you will learn more about yourself, how you work with others, and what an organisation like ours needs from you. We'll cover the cost of your accommodation and travel, and arrange social events where you can meet ambitious and motivated students just like you.

You'll improve your skills through a broad range of interactive exercises conducted by some of our best and most experienced people. You'll learn about EY and how professional services work, and what working life is like with EY. You’ll learn about the EY School Leaver Programme, how the programme is structured, and how it can help you achieve your future career goals. You'll build on what you're learning at school or college. You'll meet our business trainees, senior people from EY - and they'll help you start building a business network of your own.

Entry Requirements

To be eligible for the EY Skills Academy you should currently be in Year 12/ 5th Year studying A levels, Scottish Highers, or equivalent. You should also be considering alternatives to university and interested in a career in business, specifically Assurance or Tax.

Applications for 2016 Skills Academy are now closed


At EY, we will help you find the type of career you want – your way.

That’s why we have created a range of school and college leaver programmes – to help you gain the experiences, skills and networks you will need to make the right choices and build the career that’s right for you.

If you want to step straight into work, you could join our EY School Leaver programme. And if you’re set on going to university first then the EY Scholarship could be just right for you. We’ll help you decide on the best path for you and after that, we will do everything we can to help you to get ahead.

We’re a large, global firm, so whichever programme you choose, you’ll gain invaluable work experience that will help you start a great career – wherever that takes you.

Work now?

University first?

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EY School Leaver

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EY Assurance Scholarship

EY Careers - opportunities-Scholarship

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EY Insights

Further dates to be published shortly

National Recruitment Events

7 July 2016 - EY Schools Virtual Careers Fair

Twitter Takeover


Further dates to be published shortly

Open Days

4 July 2016 - London Insight Evening

Schools Visits

Further dates to be published shortly

Please contact us at with queries regarding visiting your school or college


If you’re thinking about applying to one of our 2016 Schools programmes or experiences, here’s more detail on what you will need to do next, with the exception of the EY Assurance Scholarship.

What we look for

At EY we’re much more interested in the kind of person you are and the things you're naturally good at. That’s why we select school leavers on their strengths and future potential, not just past performance. We want you to be yourself, show us what you've got and how far you want to take your career.

Assessing Strengths

Strengths are the things we are good at and energise us. Using your strengths can enable you to perform at your best and have a fulfilling professional life. By assessing your individual strengths, we can assess your future potential to succeed at EY.

Find out more about strengths based recruitment at EY, and why it’s an important part of our assessment process in this video.


Application Process

There are four stages to applying for a vacancy. Read below for more information on each stage so that you are clear on what to expect.

1. Choose a programme

Search our current Schools vacancies and apply for an opportunity to get your career at EY off to a great start.

2. Apply online

Once you’ve registered for your first choice vacancy, we will capture your personal details and ask about your academic background. We won’t screen out your application on your academic grades; our final decision will take into account how you do in other aspects of our selection process.

Strengths Portal

Once you have submitted this information, you will receive link by email to our Strengths Portal where you will be asked to complete four assessments. Completing all four assessments allows you to demonstrate your capabilities in full and means that we can gain a greater understanding of who you are and whether you will be a good match for EY.

You don’t have to complete all four assessments in a single sitting if you don’t want to, but you do need to complete them all. We recommend you complete them within one day, and we will only decide on the outcome of your application when you have completed all four assessments. Whatever the outcome, we will send you a feedback report within 5 working days.

Both our Situational Strengths and Business Behaviours Tests are specifically designed to give you a genuine insight into what working at EY would be like. We will present you with a variety of scenarios and ask you to select (in order of preference) your responses from a list provided.

The Numerical test involves 12 questions and is set within a time recorded rather than time tested environment. You should take as long as you need to respond to the questions although note that your score will reflect both your accuracy and time taken.

Social Mobility

Social mobility is where your background doesn’t define your future opportunities – you do.

EY are Champions of the Social Mobility Business Compact. We are committed to driving a new benchmark for social mobility in recruitment and have partnered with Jobmi to monitor the impact of our selection process on socio-economic profile of our school leaver hires.

We’ll therefore ask you a set of questions about your social, family and educational background. If you don’t want to answer a question, simply select the ‘Prefer not to say’ option. This data collection will take just 2-3 minutes to complete.

It might be that a couple of these questions seem to repeat information that you have already given us. We’re sorry about that, but for social mobility monitoring, it’s important that we collect all this information together in one place.

The information you provide will be used to help us monitor social mobility and will not have any influence on the outcome of your application.

For further information about the Social Mobility Business Compact please visit the following link.

3. First Interview (Telephone)

Our telephone interview is convenient and easy to attend. It should last around 20-25 minutes. It is designed to help us get to know your individual strengths and motivations for joining EY, your chosen service line and location. We want to get to know you, so relax and be yourself.

4. Assessment Centre

You will take part in various activities such as a team meeting, a written report, a presentation and final interview. This will give you a better feel for EY and helps us learn more about you.

We aim for all candidates to benefit as much as possible from their EY application, even if you are unsuccessful. If you are unsuccessful after your assessment centre or final interview, one of our schools recruiters will be happy to give you a call and talk you through your personal feedback. Hopefully this will help you understand why you didn’t progress, and where you can improve.

We’ll also provide you with details about our partnership with JobMi which will give you the option to explore alternative job opportunities with other employers.

Reasonable Adjustments & Disability

At EY we are committed to bringing together the right candidates to create the high performing teams that provide our clients with the exceptional service they expect. Our people advise some of the world’s most important organisations on the most complex business matters, which is why our people are vital to businesses, industries and economies everywhere. We welcome applications from candidates of all backgrounds and experiences, creating a rich and diverse culture here at EY – a culture that can help you learn, develop and shape your career.

If you have a disability or if there is any other reason which means you require a reasonable adjustment to the recruitment process and / or in the workplace, we would encourage you to share this with us. This will enable us to provide sufficient and appropriate support to you throughout the recruitment process and if you join our organisation.

Please contact us on 0800 289 208 or email us and we will work with you to ensure that your adjustments are implemented correctly.

Technical Support

If you need technical support at any point across the selection process, and you can't find the information you are looking for on our website, you can contact us at or on 0800 289 208.

Apply now for our 2016 intake.

For today’s school leavers making a decision about what to do next can be a difficult process – especially if the decision means not going to university, and entering the world of work straight away. Virtually all of our trainees have told us that before they decided to apply to the EY School Leaver programme that they sat down and discussed this with their parents or carers. If you are a parent helping your son or daughter to make this decision then we thought you might find it useful to read about the experiences of the parents of some of our current trainees.

Katie – Flo’s Mum

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
    • Did you go to university?

      I completed my university education at the age of 43, having done it on a part-time basis alongside fulltime work.

      I have a degree in Post Compulsory Education and Training & full teaching status in Further Education.
    • Straight to work?

      I was encouraged to take the traditional A-level and then to college route.
  • What do you do currently?

    I am a qualified lecturer in Early Years.
  • When you first heard about the programme were you aware of EY and what they do?

    I had heard of EY and knew they were an accountancy firm, however, I did not know that they supported school leavers until Flo told us about it.
  • How did you first hear about the programme?

    Through Flo and the school she attended at the time, St Marys.
  • What did you think of the programme?

    The programme itself I felt was a good career route, however, I had expected Flo to take the traditional route of University as that was what originally informed her A- level choices after her GCSE’S.

    I think it is also fair to say that if she had continued at her previous school this route would not have been open to her as she would have been seen as an obvious University candidate. Having worked a lot on Apprenticeships myself in further education I can see the benefits of this particular type of career path however, during Flo’s time at school I would not have considered this a route she would take.

    I also would consider that the majority of young people who come from independent/ private education will take the University route as parents may have certain expectations when they have invested financially in their child’s education. When we were choosing schools for Flo something we considered was which school would be the best for her to achieve her goal of being an accountant, which included getting into the best University.
  • How would you compare it to going to university?

    Personally I feel a University education would have given Flo a broader base of skills and experiences and opportunity for her to change her mind around her subject if she desired.

    However, as a work based school leaver she is developing a set of skills relevant to employment which will increase her employability prospects later on.
  • Did you have any concerns about Flo applying? What were they? And why?

    I would say that my main concern would be that Flo was sacrificing a University education for work based qualification. This in itself is fine if she wishes to stay an accountant, but if she decides to use her skills towards another route would she have the necessary education to do this?
  • How have you found the programme now that Flo has started?

    Even as Flo’s mother I can no longer make decisions on her behalf and therefore if she feels she has made the right decision then I am happy that she has done so. It certainly has given her unique opportunities such as featuring in the new EY Schools campaign and her hard work seems to be recognised with her recent promotion.  
  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why?

    If this was a route that a young person wanted to take then I would definitely recommend it as an alternative to University, especially for those who may not cope with the demands of University life and who want a more practical option.

Eddie – Flo’s Dad

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
    • I left High School - aged 16 - half way through the Autumn term of the Scottish equivalent of Lower 6th.  I left to join the Army as an Apprentice, I went through a 2 year programme of further education and soldiering.  I took the decision - with my parents support - as I could see that my high school education would not have taken me far enough academically in my remaining time in full time education. 
    • I now head the EMEA Project Management department in one of the world’s largest Telco’s.  The transition from the Army to - what was then - an Internet Service Provider was not a natural progression but, due to the ever evolving state of the Internet and Telecommunications work being very varied it was suitable for someone with an eagerness to learn and develop.  In 30 years I have only had 2 jobs.
  • How did you first hear about the programme?

    It was Flo who brought the programme to our attention.  She was adamant that she wasn't going to spend a number of years in university racking up a student debt.  She wanted to look for an opportunity to move straight into business.  Flo had been looking at the apprentice programme at a competitor of EY who were running an active school leavers recruitment programme in the Cambridge area.  Given that initial exposure to business recruitment and the self-confidence she developed while going through the process she very quickly discovered more about the EY school leaver programme.
  • What did you think of the programme? What informed this?

    What we know about the programme has been brought to us by Flo. She was very good at marketing the opportunity to us; to her own benefit.  She is a very open and honest girl and we can see through her how much EY value feedback from their trainees about the programme itself and where improvements have been made.
  • What did you and Flo discuss when she was deciding which path to take towards her future career / education?

    I think that Katie (Flo’s Mum) will answer this question better as the two of them had very conflicting views as to what the best post-school route was for Flo.
  • How have you found the programme now that Flo has started?

    I think that we would all admit that the programme is not as Flo first thought that it would be. Our initial thoughts were that she would be office based and we would both continue to car share.  The EY Cambridge office is only a 5 minute walk from my office.  However, she could count the number of days she has been office based in the past 14 months on her fingers and toes. There is a lot of travelling to and working from client sites – those applying should be aware of this.
  • Have you notice any changes to Flo?

    When she first moved to her 6th Form School in Cambridge in September 2011 she transformed within a 2 week period from being a young school girl to a very self-assured young lady.

    Likewise, we noticed a very similar transformation with her within EY as she travelled across East Anglia and to North Wales. Her reliance on others to make decisions for her were gone, she wanted to be in control of her own diary and actions. There have been many times where her weekly calendar has been chopped and changed and she takes each change in her stride, deals with the situation and moves on.

    She is a keen advocate of the EY School Leaver programme.  She wears her heart on her sleeve and gives her total commitment.
  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why?

    Yes, I would. I would advise them allow their son/daughter to lead the job searching.  The commitment that Flo showed to prove to us - especially her mother - that this programme was a better option than university proved how much she wanted to join EY.  Any resistance that her mother showed - playing the devil's advocate - helped to spur Flo on to prove to us both that she knew what she wanted to do with her career.

Jeanine - Charlotte’s Mum

  • Tell us a little bit about yourself
    • Did you go to university? 
    • Straight to work? 
      Yes – in my first job I worked as a book keeper
    • What do you do currently? 
      I work as the Senior Plant Administration and Liaison Officer for, a family run Royal Warranted laundry company.
  • When you first heard about the programme were you aware of EY and what they do? 

    I knew about EY and roughly what they do, just not the depths.
  • How did you first hear about the programme? 

    Through Charlotte.
  • What did you think of the programme? What informed this?

    This was something that excited Charlotte very much – she had researched this thoroughly and so I supported her choice 100%.
  • How would you compare it to going to university? 

    Charlotte had always made it clear that she did not want to go to University so I didn’t push her on this.
  • What did you and Charlotte discuss when she was deciding which path to take towards her future career / education?

    Charlotte discussed everything with us regarding tests during the application process, what EY was offering and this was something that she has always wanted to do. Charlotte is a very bright young lady and has always enjoyed challenges. She was very thorough in everything she researched, broke it all down to me. At the end of the day I wanted her to do something that she was passionate about as this could effectively be her career for her working life. She had to be sure that this was what she wanted. It was – very much so.
  • Did you have any concerns about Charlotte applying? What were they? And why? 

    Absolutely none – she had the drive and commitment to see through what she had to do. I am there for her moral support 100%.
  • How have you found the programme now that Charlotte has started? 

    The work is very demanding, but she thrives on it. There have been times when I have questioned her workload as she has come home shattered. However, she has assured me that she has excellent back-up with her buddy and councillor along with the Executives within her building. She wants to succeed, wants to be the very best and go as high as she can and knows she has to work harder than hard to get there. I firmly believe she will.
  • Have you notice any changes to Charlotte? 

    Charlotte has always been a very articulate and ‘’grown-up’’ person. Her confidence and her presence make you notice her – not in a harsh way. She is very approachable, bubbly and friendly but also very professional. I’m very proud of her.
  • Would you recommend the programme to other parents? Why? 

    I would recommend this highly as it gives young adults the full on experience of day-to-day business – the very best way I believe to learn – on the job. I believe it is easier to ‘’do’’ something and understand it rather than read. Anyone can read it, perhaps understand it to some extent but by actually performing the task – that shows you are able. This is very well supported by those in the offices.

This ten-month programmer starts with paid work experience in Easter* or summer. You will gain a wide range of skills to boost your career chances, learn what it is like working in a business and have access to a Smart Futures mentor who will support you through your final year at school. So if you are looking for a great paid experience of work, click to find out more.

EY Foundation

The EY Foundation is a UK registered charity that works directly with young people, employers and social entrepreneurs to create or support pathways to employment, enterprise or education. They have supported hundreds of talented young people across the UK through their programmes: Smart Futures, Our Future and Accelerate. This is because they believe every young person, regardless of background or circumstances, deserves a great start to their working lives and every UK employer has an active role to play in determining that.

Smart Futures

Smart Futures offers you an opportunity to have a great paid experience of work. It is a ten month programme starting with paid work experience in the summer or Easter.*

The paid work experience begins with interactive sessions and opportunities to work with different types of businesses. You will learn new skills that will help you become more employable and broaden your horizons. Following this you will spend a week working in a team and getting hands on experience in a business.

You will round off the work experience at a graduation ceremony to celebrate your achievements. You will also be invited to a series of Smart Futures events in your final year of school to further your skills and network.

But there’s more… Smart Futures also provides you with access to a mentor who will support you with your career choices, whether you want to go into higher education or apply for a job after school.

We are looking for applications from those of you who are:

  • Currently in Year 12 (England) or Fifth Year (Scotland)
  • Eligible for free school meals in the last six years
  • Attending a state school
  • Studying any combination of A-level/International Baccalaureate/BTEC Level 3s/Standards/Highers
  • Ambitious and motivated to join the world of work
  • Looking for a great paid work experience this summer or Easter* that will help you secure a job after school, or a place at university

To find out more download our brochure here.

EY - Access accountancy

Ready to apply? 

Visit the EY Foundation website to apply for the programme.

Have any questions?

Contact the EY Foundation on:
T: 020 7951 3133
Twitter:  @EY_foundation and with #EYFSmartFutures

*Easter programme only available in London