Surprisingly, they do not include all the usual suspects but range in size from EY (the highest placed at 19th) to six-partner Kent-based firm A4G (ranked 24th).
The AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk’s rankings are based entirely on the views of apprentices and school leaver trainees. According to the recruitment website, they completed surveys covering everything about their employers and training programmes, from skills development, career progression and training programmes to company culture.
The other 11 firms in the top 100 include Smith & Williamson (22), Menzies (25), PKF Cooper Parry (27), PwC and MHA MacIntyre Hudson (joint 32), Hazlewoods (28), Lovewell Blake (44), BDO (50), Grant Thornton (tied at 66 with the National Audit Office), Mazars (74) and Moore Stephens (99).
The dominance of accountancy firms in the school leaver market was particularly clear in the rankings for the top 20 school leaver programmes. Eight of the 20 (40%) were accountancy firms including A4G (top placed at 4th), Menzies (5th), Hazlewoods (6th), MHA MacIntyre Hudson (8th), PwC (10th), BDO (11th), Grant Thornton (12th) and Mazars (16th).
Interestingly, when it comes to aspects of training, then it’s the smaller firms which tend to score more highly, although EY makes it into the top five in each category. On the training itself, of the 13 firms, Lovewell Blake and Menzies came top (tied at 22), while in skills development A4G and Menzies were the clear winners (in third and fourth place respectively).
Both PKF Cooper Parry and PwC came top in career progression (in joint 23rd place) while EY was first among the accountancy firms for the level of support it gives to trainees (ranked 25th, closely followed by Lovewell Blake at 26th).
But if it’s job satisfaction you are after the place to be is Smith & Williamson (placed 26th) or Hazlewoods (in at 31).
Other awards were decided by a panel of experts and it was here that the two Big Four firms scored well. PwC won the award for the best sponsored degree and with its partner, Newcastle University, the award for the best university for a sponsored degree.
As well as the top employer award in the accounting and professional services category, EY, together with global PR firm MSL Group, won the most innovative recruitment campaign.