School Leavers

About the programme

Applications for our school leavers opportunities will open on 3rd September, to register your interest before then, click here. We'd advise applying as early as you can, from 3rd September, to avoid missing out.


Want to become a trusted business adviser? Looking to gain a professional qualification right away? University not for you?

Then enjoy five years of studying, learning and gaining real-work experience, working with organisations of all shapes and sizes across a variety of sectors. Anyone without a degree can join this programme. If you join us straight after your A-levels, you could qualify a year earlier than your peers who go to uni.

 At Grant Thornton, no two days are the same. You’ll enjoy first-class training. You’ll experience different aspects of the business lifecycle. And you’ll work at our client sites, helping to provide the insight, advice and expertise they need to grow. Studying and working at the same time will be challenging. But your hard work will pay off with a rewarding career at an ambitious, purpose-led firm that is shaping a vibrant economy where businesses, people and communities can thrive.

Business areas

  • Audit
  • Tax
  • Advisory

Our clients are operating in uncertain times. It's our job to work with them to help them to grow sustainably and fulfil their responsibilities. Right from the start, you’ll develop relationships built on credibility and trust with clients across a wide range of sectors. As you will get to spend time with clients in their offices, you’ll get to the heart of how they work and what challenges they face. You’ll learn how to provide the business and financial advice they need to grow and make the right decisions about the future.

We’re the number one supplier of public sector audit services to local governments and the NHS and you could specialise in public sector audit dealing with government departments, public services and local authorities. Not only can you make a difference to your clients, you will make a difference to vital health and public services that improve lives up and down the country and help to create environments where businesses and people flourish.

Whether you are in commercial or public sector audit, your role will be challenging, rewarding and interesting. You’ll get hands-on experience of different aspects of audit, working on all kinds of projects that range from a few days to up to eight weeks. One day you could find yourself examining financial records and carrying out audit tests. The next you could be attending stocktakes or completing audit files.

You’ll also study towards a  professional qualification starting with a two-year higher apprenticeship, completing the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) and  a diploma in business. Some of our new trainees start straight on to the ACCA qualification - check the job advert as you apply. You'll then study towards one of the following depending on the office you join and whether you want to specialise:

  • Offices in England and Wales - ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) or ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants)
  • Offices in Scotland - CA (Chartered Accountant)
  • If you choose to specialise in public sector audit, you’ll do the integrated qualification developed by ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accountancy). This means you’ll become qualified in commercial and public sector audit.

Our clients rely on us to make sure they do the right thing and are operating within the law. Providing advice on their business goals and bringing them commercial insight, we help them build sustainable growth and operate with integrity.

If you want to be at the forefront of business issues then you could be a perfect match for tax. The work you’ll do with your clients is of huge importance. After all, bad tax advice can lead to damaged reputations and expensive consequences. You’ll help your clients manage their tax obligations efficiently and responsibly. From early on, you could have your own client portfolio.

We’ve a variety of corporate and specialist tax teams here. Whichever one you join, you’ll gain hands-on experience, working with a variety of dynamic clients, from organisations in media and entertainment to finance to charities. We’ll help you to learn how to interpret complex legislation, deliver different solutions and provide our clients with clear advice and recommendations they can count on.

Our tax advisers provide expertise in such areas as corporate tax, employer solutions, innovation, financials services tax, private client, real estate, tax investigations, transfer pricing, restructuring, trusts and VAT. It’s an area that offers lots of variety and opportunities to specialise.

You’ll also study towards a  professional qualification starting with a two-year higher apprenticeship, completing the ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians) and a diploma in business. You'll then study towards one of the following depending on the office you join and whether you want to specialise:

  • Offices in England and Wales - ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) or ATT (Association of Tax Technicians). Many of our trainees go on to complete CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser)
  • Offices in Scotland -) CA (Chartered Accountant)

Working with businesses of all shapes and sizes, in advisory you’ll help a range of different clients whose businesses contribute to the growth of the economy in the UK, and beyond.

Getting involved with interesting and dynamic parts of the business cycle, you’ll help organisations either start up, expand or begin a new chapter. You’ll understand and get under the skin of our clients’ business strategy, and provide innovative solutions that unlock growth - our business advisers have lots of responsibility.

Your goal will be simple. To listen to clients, have insightful conversations and understand their business challenges and needs. And then provide the advice and solutions they need to achieve their future goals. It takes tenacity, a keen eye for detail and a real passion for helping all kinds of businesses. Is this you? And are you ready for the challenge?

We’ve a wide range of advisory teams, providing advice in such areas as corporate finance, transactions, , financial services regulatory and complex, international and forensic insolvency. Some of our business advisers even choose to specialise in actuarial, business risk services or technology risk services. This is a fast-growing area that offers plenty of variety, opportunities and interesting work.

You’ll also study towards a  professional qualification starting with a two-year higher apprenticeship, completing the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) or CAA (Certified Actuarial Analyst) in actuarial and a diploma in business. You'll then study towards one of the following depending on the office you join and whether you want to specialise:

  •  Advisory rotational programme - CFAB (Certificate in Finance, Accounting & Business) for the first year and then you’ll go on to do the ACA for the remaining two years or an alternative qualification if you wish to specialise in a particular area of advisory after the programme
  • Specialist advisory team - ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) and FIA (Fellow of the Institute of Actuaries) in actuarial
  • Offices in Scotland - CA (Chartered Accountant)

What's in it for me?

  • Training & Development
  • Salary & Reward
  • Career Progression

Structured training. New experiences. A supportive team. Exciting real-life projects with our clients. A variety of career routes to explore. You can look forward to all of this and more. Helping to drive our business forward, you’ll have the opportunity to make a big impact with a firm that’s making a difference.

You’ll gain the knowledge and develop the skills you need to go on and become a trusted adviser with a deep understanding of business.

As well as learning on the job, you'll enjoy rigorous training, strating with your orientation that will immerse you in our business, vision and purpose.

During your five-year programme, you'll study towards several qualifications at college. We'll cover the costs and give you paid study leave too. You can also develop and stretch your skills in different ways from mentoring schemes and secondments to working on exciting firm-wide projects and taking part in workshops at Bradenham Manor, our dedicated training facility.


Everyone here enjoys a competitive salary based on local market rates and the cost of living.

You’ll have a flexible benefits package to choose from too. Options include pensions, private medical cover, subsidised gym membership, car leasing offers and season ticket travel discount.

We also have an employee recognition scheme where we all celebrate the great things our colleagues do. People award shout-outs, vouchers and special treats for those who go the extra mile.

Our move towards a shared enterprise culture also means everyone will get a share of our superior profits on top of their salaries. We share ideas and make things happen. So, everyone should share in the success that brings.


At the end of your graduate or school leaver programme, you'll become professsionally qualified and all kinds of opportunities will open up. As one size doesn't fit all when it comes to career progression, we'll give you advice and guidance to help you get where you want to go.

You can progress in your team or experience life in a different area on secondment or with a permanent move.  Or, you may look to broaden your horizons and work on a project in a different country with one of our global member firms.

Where you take your career and how fast you progress is down to you. If you can demonstrate that you're ready to take on more responsibility, your progression can be fast.

Who we're looking for

We’re looking for talented people who want to be a part of something bigger. Free to be yourself, confident and approachable. You must be a great relationship builder who can inspire everyone around you with your energy and ideas. 

You should share our CLEARR values - Collaboration, Leadership, Excellence, Agility, Respect and Responsibility.

Always striving to grow yourself, you should be driven to succeed with the ability to see tasks through to the end and remain agile, even when things don’t go to plan. Your ability to see the bigger picture and also drill down into the small detail will make you stand out from the crowd – a real natural when it comes to solving problems, you’ll be able to analyse the numbers and back them up with strategic advice. Being a part of a team is at the heart of how we work here - you’ll be able to balance working as part of a team and take ownership of the part you play.

We have a flexible approach to academic entry requirements. We’ll consider your academic achievements, but your strengths, motivations and connection with us and our values are more important. We’re looking for people with a broad range of interests and experiences.

How To Apply

Want to make a difference and become a respected business adviser with a dynamic and down-to-earth firm? It all starts here.

The first step of our application process is to complete a very quick and easy online application, and give us some basic details. You can apply by clicking on the button below.

We’ll then invite you to complete a strengths assessment. This will be our first proper introduction. We’ll show you what your journey at Grant Thornton could look like and give you an idea of the challenges and situations you might face. A handy video on our trainee blog ‘Spilling the Beans’ offers tips and advice on this.
At this point, all successful candidates are invited to be part of our online community 'Grant Thornton: I've applied'. Here, you can connect with other candidates, current trainees and our recruiters, and find blogs, discussions, top tips and loads of great advice to help you with our application process.
The next stage is an online video interview and if successful, you’ll then be invited to a final round assessment that lasts for half a day. This involves a group exercise and an interview to get to know you better and lunch or coffee with some of our trainees to help you get to know us better.
We’ll guide you through every step of the way via email or phone and keep you updated on when you’ll hear from us next. Don’t worry, you can find plenty of tips and advice on our trainee blog and in our ‘Grant Thornton: I’ve applied’ online community.

Applications for our school leaver programme open on 18th September 2017 and we expect to have filled the majority of roles by the end of April 2018. Apply as soon as you can to avoid missing out.  Anyone without a university degree can apply. We encourage applications from all subject areas.