Accenture, which split from accountancy firm Andersen on 1 January 2001, only has enough work for 170 out of this year’s 570 job offers.
The 400 graduates will get their Pounds 6,000 signing-on fee on the day they were due to start and the remaining Pounds 4,000 at a later date. They will also be entitled to staff benefits such as health and life insurance, but receive only half-pay over the next three months. Starting salaries are said to be around Pounds 28,000, The Guardian reported today.
Accenture told the newspaper that the setback was due to market conditions and a drop in staff turnover.
Tim Robinson, Accenture’s UK head of human resources, said: ‘Nothing has changed in the sense that these are high-quality people that we still want to employ.’
Accenture is not the only firm suffering from the early effects of the economic slowdown. McKinsey, a leading management consultancy, and PricewaterhouseCoopers’ consultancy arm have also delayed staff intake this year.
PwC last week told 78 out of 180 graduates due to start work in September that they would have to withdraw the job offer.
In return, the graduates will receive two months’ pay, rumoured to be around Pounds 7,000.
PwC said: ‘This decision has not been taken lightly and is a reflection of the current economic climate and our constant need as a responsible business to evaluate our skills mix against our client needs.’
A spokesperson for Accenture has so far been unavailable for comment.
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