1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Being in the 4th year of my programme, with no opportunity for promotion until the completion of my programme, I am expected to perform the role of an equivalent individual who has come to EY on a graduate programme, however I am not remunerated or promoted to reflect this. I am not offered the opportunity to develop any further skills as we are already performing at the level of a qualified person, i.e. running audits, managing teams, building client relationships and discussing scope for additional procedures with our clients to win more work for EY. This is not recognised by the people who run the scheme who are out of touch with the actual roles of people on the school leaver programme.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
No. See comment above. In audit, your skills stagnate from 3 years onwards as you are not allowed the opportunity for promotion.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
Not at all. The programme was not designed with the needs of the individuals participating on it in mind. The 5 year scheme is excessively long and prevents individuals from being able to sit exams close enough together to be able to draw on previously learnt knowledge. It also keeps people at a low, unqualified person's salary, despite them taking on a qualified individual's role on their jobs and also being time qualified with the relevant accountancy body.
4. How valued do you feel by EY?
Not valued at all. We have been tied into an excessively long contract, with no one taking any sort of active interest in how to improve the programme as issues are identified along the way. I am part of the first intake of school leavers at EY, joining in 2012 when the programme first began. Remuneration does not match job role and we are held back in terms of being able to be promoted and sit exams by the rigid structure of an ill thought out programme. There was an 18 month period in which no exams were sat, despite there being a number of people who passed all previous exams first time. Only this year, almost 4 years since the commencement of the programme has an individual been assigned the task of overseeing the school leaver programme - which is ridiculous given that we have spent 3 years with no one monitoring the programme at all, and have suffered as a result of this. EY do not value it's staff, hence the high turnover rate, with 80-90% of each intake of grads leaving on a yearly basis.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
Not organised at all. See above.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
Support from Kaplan is available when needed.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
None at all. We are required to use personal annual leave in order to study in between tuition and exams, in order to avoid having to go back to work, where managers and partners are unsympathetic towards exam obligations, and will still expect people to work late nights. Persons on the graduate scheme have the entire time from college tuition to exams off work as excused leave, and therefore do not have to use any holiday allowance for exam study. This feels extremely unfair.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
The salary is laughable, especially when recruiters call on a daily basis offering 20-30k more to do a role in industry, where you can finish your qualification and have a real 'work-life balance'.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
9a. Would you recommend EY to a friend? *
9b. Why? *
Reasons as discussed above.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to EY? *
Don't do it!
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