Accountancy: a great career whatever your background

by Michael Izza on 24.10.2011 09:37

Today 30 young Londoners came to Chartered Accountants Hall in a scheme we hope will encourage bright students from all backgrounds to join our profession.


The ‘Working in Accountancy’ event is part of the Social Mobility Foundation’s Aspiring Professionals Programme for high-achieving students from less privileged backgrounds. It was held to give 16-18 year olds an insight into what Accountancy offers.


Over the course of the day the students took part in our interactive Business Game, which teaches them about some of the skills needed in business, and also received mentoring help from a professional chartered Accountant. At the end of the day the winning team secured a place in the London heat of ICAEW’s national Business Game competition.


This is one of many initiatives to help young people from all backgrounds to consider Chartered Accountancy. For example, earlier this year, we worked on a code of best practice for internships (to ensure that they are open to all), and we recently launched several low cost or employer-funded degree programmes. 


ICAEW has always believed that students from any background should be able to access our profession, and that talent, ability and drive matter most. Many in our profession come from relatively modest backgrounds but with hard work and determination rose to the very top, and acquired the necessary paper qualifications along the way.


There’s also an economic argument for improving access to the professions to people from all backgrounds. 


A recent report by the Sutton Trust suggested that increasing social mobility could be worth between 1.6% and 3.9% to UK GDP by 2050.


Even if you take the lower figure, that would be growth worth having.


To find out more about ICAEW and careers in accountancy visit icaew.com/careers.