Grant Thornton’s Thames Valley and Southampton team welcomes next generation of talent

Grant Thornton UK LLP is set to welcome 37 new joiners to its Thames Valley and Southampton team this year, as part of the leading business and financial adviser’s largest ever nationwide intake of graduates and school leavers.  

The new starters will join a variety of departments across the business, including audit, corporate tax, advisory tax and accounting services, and includes a mix of placements, graduates, and school leavers. This is an increase on the 35 new joiners that were introduced to the Thames Valley and Southampton team in 2022.  

Across the country, Grant Thornton will welcome a total of 213 school leavers onto its apprenticeship programme this year. This is a 13% increase compared to 2022 (188) and the highest number ever to join the firm in one admission.  

For the first time, nationally, the firm’s audit department – which hires the largest number of trainees in the business – saw more school leavers than graduates joining the function.  

Grant Thornton is also set to welcome a record number of new joiners to its overall trainee intake, with 496 school leavers and graduates joining the firm this year combined.  

As well as welcoming its new trainee intake, the firm, which is a founding member of Access Accountancy, offered 218 work experience placements to sixth form students through the scheme this year – a significant increase compared to 2022 (131). 

Norman Armstrong, practice leader for Grant Thornton in the Thames Valley and Southampton, said: “At Grant Thornton, we’ve been evolving our approach to identifying talent, with more of a focus on future potential and strengths, as opposed to past achievements and academic profile. Our emphasis on increasing our school leaver intake has allowed us to access a new, diverse talent pool that we would previously have been missing. 

“The school leaver apprenticeship route offers an excellent path into the profession for young students. Our school leavers develop into well rounded business advisers, gain an internationally recognised qualification and become professionally qualified a year ahead of their peers who choose to go to university and then join our graduate programme.” 

Aaron Martin is a 22-year-old audit associate, trained pilot and neuroscience graduate from the University of Edinburg who joined Grant Thornton’s Thames Valley team this year. He said: “I wanted to find a company that harbours ambition and challenges you to grow, but at the same time I wanted to work for a company that values its staff and which supports them through their careers.  

“I initially did a degree in neuroscience and so had little experience in the business and financial sector, however during university I did an internship at a large food retailer’s  head office and was fascinated by the structure and function of businesses. This gave me a strong interest in pursuing a business-related career and I investigated the professional services area as this would give me exposure to different industries. 

“The thing that struck me most about Grant Thronton is the support you get from more experienced staff. The expectation, I think, of many people looking into a career in this sector is that it can often be quite ruthless and a very uncaring environment, but nothing can be further from the truth here.”

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Lisa Baker is the Editor of Always Finance, and writes about Business, Finance Technology and Healthcare. Lisa is also the owner of Need to See IT Publishing.