EY’s Reading office has welcomed 46 new graduates and apprentices, continuing the firm’s investment in its regional business and commitment to nurturing early talent.
The new hires are part of EY’s 1088 recruits across the UK, which includes 909 graduates and 179 apprentices. Forty four percent of all the student recruits this year will be based outside of London in EY’s regional offices, with notably large intakes in Reading, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle.
Of the new student hires in Reading, 52% are women and 48% are from ethnic minorities. Across the UK, 46% of all the student recruits are women, 38% are from an ethnic minority, and 4% are Black.
Richard Baker, Office Managing Partner at EY in Reading, said: “I’m delighted to welcome our new student intake for 2021 to the Reading office. We’ve also recruited 19 new graduates and apprentices in Southampton – resulting in a significant investment in early-stage recruitment across the Thames Valley and South region.
“At a time when many students have been facing a challenging jobs market, we have continued to recruit throughout the pandemic and honoured all the conditional offers we made prior to A-Level results for the second year running. We also continued to deliver fantastic virtual internship programmes for aspiring students from the local area, over the summer
“Almost half of the students EY has recruited across the UK this year will be based outside of London, in one of our regional offices, including in Reading. This represents a significant investment in our regional businesses and continues our commitment to developing diverse talent from across the UK.
“Here in Reading we’ve been recruiting across all levels of the business, from apprentices through to new Associate Partners and Partners to strengthen our capabilities in the region. It’s an exciting time to be working with and supporting our clients across the Thames Valley and South, as they transition out of the pandemic.”
Adapting to change
EY adapted its student recruitment programmes over the last 18 months to ensure that graduates and apprentices were still able to receive meaningful client experiences and study for their professional qualifications while working virtually. With restrictions now easing, students will complete their induction training virtually before adopting a hybrid working arrangement from mid-Autumn onwards, where they will split their time between office, client site and remote working.
To ensure students receive the right level of support, EY has introduced more one-to-one touchpoints for students with their line managers and coaches and will be arming students with tools and tips on working in a virtual world. There will also be both virtual and in-person networking sessions and more peer support groups.
Despite the challenges of COVID, EY also provided 16 virtual placements in Reading, including through a Business Academy, Industrial Placements and Summer Internships. The programmes enable students to gain an insight into working life at EY, while also gaining skills.
Nationally, the EY Foundation – EY’s independent charity – provided over 600 placements on its Smart Futures, Our Futures and 39 Beyond Your Limits programmes for students. Through these programmes the EY Foundation aims to support young people from low-income backgrounds to gain paid work experience, employability skills training and career advice.
Diverse early talent
EY is committed to attracting and retaining diverse talent and last year set out a series of new anti-racism commitments. This included a commitment to offering at least 30% of EY’s work experience places to Black young people for the next five years. In addition, EY has increased the number of places on its ‘Discover EY Black Heritage in Business’ programme for first year undergraduates by 72%. The two-day virtual programme gives Black students the opportunity to learn more about EY, gain career advice and network. EY’s Race and Ethnicity employee network is also now offering a mentoring scheme to support early talent as students begin their career at EY.
Justine Campbell, EY’s UK&I Managing Partner for Talent, says: “It is important that we continue to recruit the brightest and best at EY, which is why we are working hard to attract and retain diverse entry level talent, particularly throughout the pandemic and beyond.
“We know that many of these new hires will become the future leaders of our business so it’s vital that we equip them with the expertise, skills and hands-on experience needed to get their EY career off to a flying start.”