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Graduate Applications Flood the Big Four Accountancy Firms

Accountancy Graduates on the Increase

Figures recently released by the Big Four reveal an unprecedented level of interest from graduates and school leavers this year.

Over the last five years, despite the global economic crisis, the number of applications for graduate roles at PwC, for instance, has more than tripled from around 7,000 to over 22,000. Although the number of graduate places offered by the firm has increased by around 17% during this time period, there are still only 1100 available, so competition is intense.

Gaenor Bagley, Head of People at PwC, has stated that the industry needs a solid pipeline of talent to attain the growth rates expected for the sector - she is confident that PwC's investment through the downturn has paid off and will positively impact the firm's growth plan.

PwC's chairman, Ian Powell, has spoken to the Telegraph on the subject and described the tricky situation of having to interview nearly 7,000 candidates. The sheer number will mean that a lot of people have to be eliminated on paper. So Powell is fearful of losing some diversity of background and experience from those joining the firm.

Deloitte has responded to the overall increase in demand by offering one of the largest numbers of places for graduates it now totals 1200, which is almost 10% up on 2011.

KPMG has also benefited from the surge in graduate interest - the firm has received 21,000 applications for its graduate scheme, which offers 650 spaces. This figure is up significantly from 18,500 last year. At the same time, prospective candidates for its school-leaver programme increased from 1200 last year to 1900   for only 150 positions.

Ernst & Young is in a similar situation with its school-leaver training scheme   the firm is almost doubling the number of places available on the scheme from 80 to 150 due to increased demand, with applications up 25% on last year. Additionally, graduate job applications at the firm are up an incredible 140%, making the chances of securing a place slimmer than ever before.

Stephen Isherwood, the head of graduate recruitment, said the firm had received four applications for every place on the graduate trainee scheme - so students should get organised and start applying if they want to get their dream job secured after university. He added that the firm's applications were opened three months earlier than two years ago and places were already starting to fill up.

Written by Adam Tachauer 

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