KPMG UK launches audit only apprenticeship

KPMG UK launches audit only apprenticeship

The Big Four firm is aiming at recruiting 140 audit practice apprentices in the next year.

KPMG UK launches audit only apprenticeship

KPMG has launched a new apprenticeship programme aimed at helping the next generation of auditors start their career in the sector.

The Big Four firm’s ‘audit only’ apprenticeship offers 140 vacancies for school leavers across its UK office network. The five-year programme will provide apprentices with the opportunity to achieve a Level 7 ACA or CA certification – officially becoming auditors upon completion.

The new programme follows the path of a successful programme that ran over the last 12 months, in which 70 apprentices joined KPMG.

The apprenticeship scheme comes as a result of investment in the firm’s audit practice, with 1,000 experienced auditors and 1,000 graduates entering the firm in 2019 – making it KPMG’s biggest recruitment process in the audit practice.

A great career choice

KPMG Head of Audit, Jon Holt commented: “Starting out in audit is a great career choice as it provides a broad education into how a business works. Our apprentices will be learning every day through working with experienced auditors and our structured in-house learning and development programmes.

“No two days will be the same as they help us run the rule over a large variety of different organisations across global markets, from the biggest multinationals through to innovative start-ups. Advances in new technology such as AI, blockchain and predictive analytics are fundamentally changing how we work and the sort of skills we’re looking for.”

Holt concluded: “Strong numeracy is still hugely important; but we also look beyond academic achievement alone and focus on potential. We are seeking those with natural curiosity, independent thinking and a keen eye for detail. If you feel you fit the bill and are looking for a rewarding career in a global organisation, we want to hear from you.”

Cajsa Thulin, current Apprentice at KPMG, added: “I chose to do an apprenticeship at KPMG because I wanted to get stuck in and gain practical experience at a large global organisation. I knew university wasn’t for me, and by exploring different apprenticeships in a number of UK businesses I found that the KPMG programme was the best fit for my personal career path.

“I’ve certainly developed a lot of skills in my time so far at KPMG, through using new technology and by meeting diverse groups of clients and colleagues. I would recommend an apprenticeship at KPMG to anyone who might be looking for an alternative to the traditional higher education model.”

Expanding the talent pool

Reflecting on the opportunity that the new apprenticeship programme presents to students, Charlotte Carter, Head of Student Recruitment at KPMG, explained: “We piloted our KPMG audit apprenticeship programme for our 2019 intake, where students joined the firm about four to six weeks ago. We’re now rolling that programme out fully for our class of 2020, and we’re expecting numbers on that programme to double year on year at least. It’s a great opportunity for people not only to join KPMG but to join our audit practice without having had a degree already.

“We recognise that it’s vital that we offer opportunities to everybody and we don’t just limit those two individuals who have undertaken a degree. Expanding the talent pool into the firm and apprenticeships is one of the key drivers to enable us to do that. The apprenticeship is a five-year programme where school leavers study towards their AAT and then proceed to complete their ACA qualification, meaning they can shave one year off the programme. Joining us, either straight from school or college, can sometimes be difficult, so we also have a dedicated professional qualifications and accreditation team to support them.”

When receiving applications, Carter looks at the potential of each candidates – believing passion and motivation to be as important as academic performance: “We’re not necessarily just looking at someone’s academic achievements – we want people who have the passion for working within KPMG and with businesses. We ask applicants to submit their academic details, but we also ask them several open-ended questions, such as how technology is changing how we do things and the impact it’s having on businesses. We’re really looking at that passion and motivation to do well on the programme in addition to their academic qualifications.”

Focusing on the young talent pool and the ever-changing nature of the audit industry, Carter concluded: “Our audit practices is shifting, with the increasing digitization – so our audit teams are using more advanced data analytics skills and different types of technology platform to enable us to form our audience more efficiently, with audit quality remaining on top of our agenda. It’s an exciting time to join our audit practice, and young people are at the heart of this technology and in everything they do.”

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