EY has welcomed a total of 70 graduates and apprentices to the firm this year, reinforcing its commitment to invest in and nurture early talent.

This represents an increase of 9% on last year’s intake, as the firm continues to build out its talent pipeline across the North West. EY’s Manchester office welcomed 63 graduates and apprentices, while seven graduates and apprentices joined its Liverpool office. Of the new joiners, 41% are women, and 23% are from ethnic minorities.

A further 32 students were given temporary short-term placements through industrial placements and summer internships, to gain vital work experience. In addition, the EY Foundation – EY’s independent charity – provided short term placements to 118 people from across the North West on its Smart Futures, Tech Futures and Beyond Your Limits programmes in 2021. Through these programmes, the EY Foundation helps support young people from low-income backgrounds to receive paid work experience, mentoring, employability skills training and career advice.

The new hires are part of EY’s 1,088 student recruits across the UK, which includes 909 graduates and 179 apprentices. Forty four percent of all the student recruits this year will be based outside of London, with notably large intakes in Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Reading.

EY has strong growth plans for the North West, and recently announced the launch of a Neuro-Diverse Centre of Excellence in the UK, which has set an ambition to hire 150 neurodivergent individuals over the next three years, who will work within EY’s integrated client teams. The programme is open to both graduates and experienced hires, and is currently recruiting for its first intake of 5 individuals in Manchester.

Stephen Church, Office Managing Partner for EY in Manchester, said: “I am delighted to welcome so many new graduates and apprentices to the firm, as they begin their career with EY. It is brilliant to see that we have increased our intake from last year, demonstrating our commitment to student recruitment and the growth of the firm.

“At a time when many young people across the North West continue to face a challenging labour market, we have continued to recruit throughout the pandemic, and honoured all conditional offers we made prior to A-Level results for the second year running.

“Young talent is essential to our future business success and to shaping the skills we will need to remain competitive. We know that many of these new hires will become the future leaders of our business so it’s vital that we equip them with the expertise, skills and hands-on experience needed to get their EY career off to a flying start. I wish them all every success.”

EY adapted its student recruitment programmes over the last 18 months to ensure that graduates and apprentices were still able to receive meaningful client experiences and study for their professional qualifications while working virtually. With restrictions now easing, students will complete their induction training virtually before adopting a hybrid working arrangement from mid-Autumn onwards, where they will split their time between office, client site and remote working.

To ensure students receive the right level of support, EY has introduced more one-to-one touchpoints for students with their line managers and coaches and will be arming students with tools and tips on working in a virtual world. There will also be both virtual and in-person networking sessions and more peer support groups.