EY transforms its graduate scheme with an apprenticeship

21 December 2017

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  • EY graduates will be among the first to receive the Government-accredited Level 7 Apprenticeship, equivalent to a master’s degree

EY, one of the UK’s largest student employers, will transform its graduate programme in 2018 by offering an apprenticeship to both existing students and new joiners to the scheme.

Eligible graduates will now work towards their professional accountancy qualification and a Government-accredited, Level 7 Apprenticeship in Accountancy and Taxation, which is the equivalent of a master’s degree in the UK. The Level 7 standard was designed by industry - the ‘Trailblazer’ group, which was chaired by EY and included other accountancy firms and bodies such as ICAEW and ICAS.

By the end of next year, around 1,000 eligible EY tax and assurance graduates and school leavers are expected to be completing a Level 7 Apprenticeship at EY as well as their professional accountancy qualification. The change will apply to school leavers and tax and assurance graduates who work in England and either joined the firm in September 2017, or will join in September 2018.

EY has made the move to better prepare students with the skills and experience needed for the workplace of the future and in support of the Government’s aim to create three million new apprenticeships by 2020, to help boost skills and productivity.

Maggie Stilwell, Managing Partner for Talent at EY in the UK & Ireland, commented: “Our graduates will be among the first in the country to start the new, Government-accredited Level 7 Apprenticeship in Accountancy and Taxation. It will enhance their training and development opportunities at EY and, when they qualify, students will receive both their professional qualification and an apprenticeship accreditation, equivalent to a master’s degree. More broadly, as a significant employer in the UK, we recognise that we have an important role to play in training the next generation of business leaders.

“We also want to help change the perception of apprenticeships, which are now an increasingly attractive option for students of all abilities and backgrounds. We hope that by changing our graduate scheme to align with an apprenticeship, it will help level the playing field for young people and support them in building their careers.”

EY trains its own apprentices

EY was awarded employer provider status by the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) earlier this year, which allows the firm to deliver apprenticeship training to its people. The employer provider status recognises the role that business can play in driving the quality of apprenticeships, helping more people into the world of work, and bridging the skills gaps in the UK.

EY recruits around 1,500 students across the UK each year, including school leavers, graduates and interns. The firm already runs a Business Apprenticeship scheme for school leavers, and will aim to recruit a further 200 students in 2018 who, if eligible, will also work towards a Level 7 Apprenticeship.

Stilwell added: “EY is creating even more entry routes into the workplace for young people by investing in a variety of new apprenticeships, including the firm’s new degree apprenticeship in Digital Innovation. The degree apprenticeship is aimed at people who wish to develop a career in technology.”

In October 2017, EY was rated one of the top employers for school leavers in the UK by Rate My Apprenticeship (RMA) – based on anonymous student-written reviews.