School Leavers

About the programme

Our school leavers join us on a five year programme where you'll balance client work with study and revision for professional exams. It's a challenging few years and you'll need to be dedicated and focused on passing exams and working with clients.

Of course, you’ll get the professional qualifications that come with our first class training, but our aim is to grow trusted business people with real-world experience. So you won’t be stuck doing the same thing over and over, but gain valuable experience out on client sites, with exposure to organisations of all shapes and sizes across a broad range of sectors.

Ultimately, our programmes are all about business and working with our clients to drive growth. Our trainees get exposure to the whole business lifecycle across many sectors – it's an exciting time to be part of a firm with a purpose of shaping a Vibrant Economy where businesses, people and communities can thrive.

Business areas

  • Audit
  • Tax
  • Advisory

Our clients are operating in uncertain times, trust and integrity in financial markets is needed more than ever -  it's our job to work with them to make a difference and fulfil their responsibility to their stakeholders. From the outset, you’ll spend most of your time on site with clients, across a variety of sectors, as part of an audit team, to get a real insight into how they work. Assignments range from a few days to eight weeks.

It can be pretty challenging since you’ll be studying and doing hands-on audit work; examining company accounts, carrying out audit tests, attending stock takes and completing audit files. You could also specialise in public sector audit, where you’ll deal with government departments, public services and local authorities.

In the first two years you'll work towards the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification and alongside that you'll gain a diploma in business. After you've completed your two-year apprenticeship, you'll go on to study towards becoming ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) or ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) qualified depending on which of our offices you join. If you join one of our offices in Scotland, you'll work towards the ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) qualification. If you chose to specialise in Public Sector Audit, you'll study towards the integrated qualification developed by ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) and CIPFA (Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy) whereby you'll obtain a commercial (CA) and public sector qualification (CIPFA) all at the same time. This is the same across all offices. 

To find out more about what it's like to work in audit, click here.

Our clients look to us not only to save money, but also to ensure they are operating within the law. The serious, and often expensive, consequences of bad tax advice mean that the work we do is of huge importance. Tax is a cost to their business and we are here to help them operate efficiently to manage that.

As a tax adviser you'll be working with organisations or individuals, interpreting complex legislation and delivering solutions in a way that the client understands. 

As a school leaver you can join the area of Corporate Tax, Private Client or Employer Solutions. In London there's our rotational tax programme. 

You'll work towards a professional qualification while getting varied and challenging on the ground experience.

In the first two years you'll work towards the ATT (Association of Taxation Technicians) qualification and alongside that you'll gain a diploma in business. After you've completed your two-year apprenticeship, you'll go on to study towards becoming ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) or CTA (Chartered Tax Adviser) qualified depending on which area you join. If you're joining one of our offices in Scotland, you'll work towards the ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) qualification.  

To find out more about what it's like to work in tax, click here

As a business adviser within a team in advisory, you’ll have a large amount of responsibility, as you help businesses start, expand or begin a new chapter. Our advisory teams are involved in some of the most interesting parts of a business cycle and with some of the most exciting clients out there.

As a school leaver in advisory you can join us in the areas of Corporate Finance, Transaction Advisory Services, Forensic Insolvency Division (FInD) or Financial Services Regulatory. If you join advisory in Scotland, you'll be part of a team who work on projects across various areas. 

Whichever area you choose to join, you'll work towards a professional qualification alongside gaining experience with early responsibility working on varied and challenging assignments across a broad range of clients.

In the first two years you'll work towards the AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians) qualification and alongside that you'll gain a diploma in business. After you've completed your two-year apprenticeship, you'll go on to study towards becoming ACA (Associate Chartered Accountant) qualified. If you join advisory in one of our offices in Scotland, you'll do the ICAS (Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland) qualification.

To find out more about what it's like to work in advisory, click here.

What's in it for me?

  • Training & Development
  • Salary & Reward
  • Career Progression

You'll kick-off your career with us at your orientation at a unique location in the UK. As well as immersing yourself in our vision and purpose, you'll also take part in key technical workshops so that you can hit the ground running on your first day on the job.  There'll also be plenty time for celebrating the start of your career with us and opportunity to get to know your peers and fellow colleagues.

Being a trainee at Grant Thornton means becoming professionally qualified too - to be great business advisers our trainees need to have the technical knowledge to back up their insight. You spend time at college as well as our dedicated training facility, Bradenham Manor, where you'll get intensive training to help consolidate your learning and help you pass exams. We support you by covering the costs of all exams and you get paid study leave too.   

Of course, your development is not all about the technical stuff and professional exams. Our people enjoy a wealth of opportunities to stretch themselves. Whether it's a two-day workshop on developing your business impact, a mentoring scheme or short-term secondments. the opportunities are broad. and in the spirit of a Shared Enterprise there will be opportunity to get involved in exciting firm-wide projects. 

All our people get a competitive salary as well as flexible benefit options such as pensions, private medical cover, subsidised gym memberships, car leasing offers and season ticket travel discount.

Salaries are competitive and in line with the wider industry. They vary across our offices and are based on the cost of living and local market rates.

And in our culture of shared enterprise all our people are entitled to a share of the profit on top of their salary – meaning that in our culture we're all inspired to contribute ideas towards the future of our business, to take responsibility in making them happen and as a result share in the reward that they bring.

There's our employee recognition scheme too – where our people recognise each other for the great things they do. Whether it's a shout out, a voucher or a special treat for when someone has gone the extra mile, there's always an opportunity to recognise or be recognised for doing a fantastic job.   

Your five year programme is just the start of your career with us. Once you qualify you'll be supported in making great decisions about what's next for you in Grant Thornton.

We know that there isn't a one size fits all approach to career progression so you'll get advice and guidance tailored to what you want to do next and where you want to be in future. Those who join us after school are just as successful as our graduates – if you join us straight after your A-levels you could qualify a year earlier than your peers who got to uni and join the graduate programme.

After qualification, you may wish to progress in your current team, make an internal move to another team, on a secondment or on a permanent basis, or you might wish to take a secondment to one of our global member firms.

Your progression could see you taking on people management and business development responsibilities.

Where you take your career and how fast is up to you. You'll be given the tools and support you need to make it happen. 

Who we're looking for

You're not just looking for job. And we're not looking for just any one. Our business advisers are credible, agile and passionate about what they do. You'll work with dynamic clients and build strong relationships quickly.

You'll have a genuine interest in businesses, the sectors in which they operate and eager to learn about the challenges they're facing. Ultimately great business advice comes from asking great questions and doing great listening.  You'll show initiative and bring unique perspectives to challenging situations – knowing what you do matters to our clients, their business and the wider economy.

You'll be down-to-earth and eager to be an active participant in our culture for growth.

Our CLEARR (Collaboration, Leadership, Excellence, Agility, Respect, Responsibility) values are really important to us and we're looking for trainees who are passionate about, and have a connection with, what we stand for as an organisation. Click here to find out a bit more.

How To Apply

The first step of our application process is to complete an online application form. We have a flexible approach to academic entry requirements and are looking for people who have a broad range of interests and experiences. We look at four areas of an application; your academic achievements, your personal achievements, your professional achievements as well as how well you'll fit our culture.

At this point, all successful candidates are invited to be a part of our online community 'Grant Thornton: I've applied' – this is a space where you can connect with other candidates, current trainees and our recruiters. You'll get top tips and advice to help set you up ready for the further stages of the process. There's loads of great advice, blogs and discussions to help you succeed.

The later stages of our process involve an online digital interview, online numerical, verbal and critical reasoning tests as well as a final round assessment day.

The assessment day will be half a day involving a group exercise with a follow up one-to- one interview relating to the exercise, another one-to-one interview to get to know you better and a lunch/coffee with some of our trainees to help you get to know us better.

Visit our trainee blog here for some tips on the application process.

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