BDO continues to grow early career programmes
Accountancy and business advisory firm BDO has opened its applications for more than 130 apprentices across its UK offices. The news further expands the firm’s programme for new entrants to the professional services sector.
Paul Eagland, BDO’s managing partner, commented, “We are committed to attracting and developing the brightest talent and strive to make the accountancy profession more accessible for everyone, no matter what their background. As a growing firm, our role in progressing the next generation of professionals has never been more important. We know one size does not fit all, so we hope that by offering a number of entry routes, we are creating opportunities for a wider range of people.”
BDO is a global advisory and accounting firm, employs 7,500 people across the UK. In recent years, it has committed to a wide-ranging campaign to hire school leavers into its operations, helping it to compete in a tight labour market – and increasing the social mobility opportunities it offers in the process.
Applications for the 130 apprenticeships, designed for students who have completed their A-level studies (or equivalent), are now open until 24 March 2024. Successful candidates will start at BDO in September 2024. At the same time, September will also see the firm welcome more than 650 people to its graduate trainee programme, as well as more than 112 industrial placement students, who spend a year working at BDO in between their second and third year of university.
On the importance of offering multiple routes into the professional services industry, Eagland added, “Having chosen not to go to university myself, I know firsthand the benefits an apprenticeship can bring and the lifelong skills you learn along the way. Programmes like Explore BDO, designed for those from less privileged backgrounds, have a huge role in improving social mobility both in our industry and across the UK, and I am proud to see BDO playing a part in this.”
A further part of these efforts will also see BDO commence hiring for its summer work experience and insight programmes. Now in its third year, ‘Explore BDO’ is a three-day insight programme aimed at improving social mobility and access to accountancy for those from less privileged backgrounds – and is open to students in years 11-13 who meet the lower socio-economic criteria and are looking to get a taste of what the world of accountancy might look like.
Rachel Jackson, a tax trainee in BDO’s Leeds office, who started her apprenticeship with BDO in 2022 after taking part in the Explore BDO programme, explained that it gave her an insight into what a career at BDO and in accountancy might be like, as well as “the opportunity to be fast tracked into applying for an apprenticeship at BDO”.
She added, “Of course, for many, university is about more than just the qualification but for me an apprenticeship has meant gaining real experience of the working world as soon as I finished school, while also getting the chance to gain a respected professional qualification. Doing a programme like Explore BDO or an internship before applying for an apprenticeship is really useful. You get to know the firm and its people before deciding whether it is somewhere you think you’d enjoy working. I’d recommend it to anyone considering a career in professional services.”
Last year, BDO welcomed almost 600 new trainees to its business across the UK. 400 of the trainees were selected to sit in BDO’s audit practice.