Glasgow youngsters get taste of professional life with Grant Thornton
Grant Thornton has given young people in Glasgow a taste of life in the professional services world through its Access Accountancy programme.
The secondary school pupils were invited to Grant Thornton’s new multi-million pound Glasgow offices, to be offered insight into professional services and the career opportunities available to them.
As well as hearing from business leaders, the group was given Apprentice-style tasks to complete, to teach each of them about creativity, working to deadlines and team-building.
The visit is part of the Access Accountancy programme – an initiative involving Scotland’s leading professional services firms, which aims to deliver increased social mobility by welcoming talented and ambitious young people to the sector from all backgrounds.
Saint Thomas Aquinas Secondary School pupil, Abbi McCormack, was one of the students in the group.
The 16-year-old said: “Everyone’s been so nice. It’s not just making tea and coffee, which you sometimes get with work experience projects. People have been really warm and welcoming and you get a genuine insight into the accountancy firm. At first I was a bit nervous about coming in as a teenager to such a big company, but the experience has been amazing.”
Fellow student, Shabhaz Ali, 16 who studies at Lourdes Secondary School, added: “I think the perception everyone has of accountancy is lots of people just sitting at desks putting numbers into computers, but it’s so much more than that and I found that it really challenges you. School is great but this kind of experience puts you in a real life situation and you feel like you’re part of the workforce.”
James Chadwick, assurance partner at Grant Thornton in Scotland, said: “It’s been great welcoming the pupils in to the offices. They tend to come in nervous and unsure about what to expect, but when they leave they’re buzzing and really excited about the career opportunities that lie ahead for them.
“Access Accountancy is more important than ever before as it’s aimed at getting young people into the profession and increasing social mobility. Recent research indicated that the first time in decades, our industry was facing a long-term decline in new recruits and we all recognised that something needed to be done. It’s already paying off, with more school leavers than ever before joining us and many young people who thought they might not be qualified coming on-board as our new, more modern approach to recruitment starts to gain traction.”