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Is a squeeze in recruitment coming?

27 April 2018

Trainee numbers at the Top 75 UK accounting firms are being squeezed and the total number of trainees grew by just 2.8% in 2017, according to the latest comprehensive survey from Accountancy magazine.

This compares to the 18% rise in numbers in 2016.

There appears to be some big changes in the recruitment policy at firms. The biggest recruiter of trainees, PwC, cut its trainee intake in 2017 by 5.5% to 3,625. Meanwhile, RSM reduced the number of trainees it took on from 400 in 2016 to just 280 in 2017. Thatís a drop of 30%. Top firms BDO, Moore Stephens and Mazars also cut down significantly on trainee numbers.

It isnít all bad news. EY increased its recruited of trainees by nearly 11%, KPMG by 8.5% and Smith Williamson a whooping 34.6%. The biggest Top 20 recruiter, however, was PKF UK. It took on 302 trainees in 2016 and 459 last year, a jump of 52%.

In all Accountancy magazine recorded 19,120 trainees in the top 75 firms and felt that there are clearly signs of the start of a slowdown in the recruitment of future accountants.
The report also highlights the shift in recruitment patterns because of the apprenticeship levy and increasing regionalism, with firms focusing more of their resources away from the capital.

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