Jessica Fino 17 Jul 2017 05:02pm

Concern over drop in applications for accountancy jobs

The decline in new graduates applying for accountancy and banking jobs is likely to impact the future talent pipeline of the profession, the Global Accounting Network has warned

It follows last week’s survey which found the number of finalists applying to work in investment banking, finance and accountancy has dropped by up to a fifth this year.

Adrian O’Connor, founding director of Global Accounting Network said the decline of graduate entrants to the profession this year will impact on the availability of talent with the necessary skills to fill senior roles in the future.

O’Connor said, “This is worrying news that fewer graduates than ever before are applying to work in investment banking, finance and accountancy as this will have wide-spreading consequences for the industry as a whole as it struggles to both recruit and develop the numbers of people it needs to hire to continue to expand.

“Ultimately, it raises concerns about the future of the industry; if the talent pipeline is being badly squeezed at this stage, there will be a talent shortage further down the line with a lack of suitably skilled and experienced people in place to take over the top jobs.”

High Flyers’ UK Graduate Careers Survey found that confidence in the graduate job market fell for the first time in five years following the Brexit vote, with almost three quarters of final year students fearing that there will be fewer opportunities for new graduates in 2017 as a direct result of the vote.

Moreover, finalists’ expected debt after graduation increased to its highest level ever at £37,7000.

“The impact of student debt […] is clearly an issue, and it will add another layer of doubt to those who may be considering applying to university, and further down the line, developing their talent to work in the finance industry.”

The Global Accounting Network also pointed out that employers need to look again at how they respond to the rise of new routes to employment such as apprenticeship schemes when managing their talent pipeline.

O’Connor added that the decline in confidence will “at worse, lead to a shrinkage in the accountancy market”, or “at best, to a complete reassessment of how financial professionals and businesses recruit and retain their best talent”.