Trainees feel underpaid and exploited

The annual poll of around 500 trainees by recruitment consultant TMP Harrison Willis also found that almost half claimed they receive insufficient time off to study for their exams, while 70% thought their training was inadequate.

Fifty-six percent of graduate trainees polled complained that compared to contemporaries in other fields their pay was poor.

Findings revealed a huge variance in trainee salaries. At the bottom end, one Midlands-based ACCA student received a salary of £4,800, while another ACCA trainee earned £45,000.

The results contrast with recent news that Andersen Consulting is offering graduate trainees £10,000 as a ‘golden hello’ with Big Five firms paying £1,000 as a ‘settling in’ bonus. The largest firms typically offer new London graduate recruits salaries in excess of £20,000.

The survey, carried out in association with Pass magazine, also showed that the most disgruntled group were trainees with the English ICA, with as many as 63% saying they had been let down in some way.

Related reading