Accounting and business advisory firm Hurst is offering school leavers the chance to join its trainee accountant scheme for the first time in its 40-year history
The firm is opening the programme to applicants with three A-levels or equivalent.
It will also offer places to graduates with lower second-class honours degrees for the first time. Until now, there has been a requirement for trainees to have at least an upper second-class honours degree.
In another move to broaden the appeal of its trainee programme, the firm will not offer training for qualifications from the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) rather than solely offering ICAEW training.
Hurst partner and director of practice development Simon Brownbill (pictured) said: ‘We have seen placement and work experience students make a fantastic impression with us over the years, demonstrating that there are quality people out there without university degrees who would be great additions to our team.
‘Our rapid growth means we need more applicants, and we also want to improve diversity and reduce barriers to entry. As we look to build our business at an even faster rate while continuing to develop our own talent, the time is right to offer careers to school leavers.
‘We welcome applications from a range of backgrounds, and will be using the same recruitment process for school leavers as we have in place for graduates. The standard to get a place will remain the same. The process is under way, as we are seeking trainees for our 2022/23 intake.’
School leavers joining the firm will receive paid leave for study and examinations, leading to the same qualifications they would get had they graduated from university.
Each newcomer will be assigned a mentor and will have a tailored career plan, which will see them working with partners and managers on a range of assignments with clients, including possible secondments overseas.
Meanwhile, Hurst has also launched a development programme for accountants seeking to progress through the ranks all the way to manager and partner level.
Brownbill added: ‘Our retention levels have been phenomenal, and this has been down to a focus on working with the very best clients, a supportive culture, and providing career development. As the firm grows, we want to give more people these opportunities.’