RSM UK has been named the highest ranked professional services firm in the country in the Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers 2022 rankings.
The firm, who came in eighth place alongside other top 10 employers including the British Army, BT and BAE Systems, took on a total of 350 new apprentices last year, with more than a quarter of the firm’s staff currently on apprenticeships.
The Top 100 Apprenticeship Employers recognises England’s “outstanding” apprenticeship employers and their commitment to employing apprentices. The annual rankings were developed by the Department of Education, in partnership with High Fliers Research, who independently assess and rank the nation’s top apprenticeship employers.
Rankings are based on the number of new apprentices; the number of apprentices employed by the organisation; the diversity of the new apprentices and the number of apprentices who successfully completed their apprenticeship and progressed further with the employer.
There were reportedly over 500 entries this year, with professional services firms representing the largest proportion of the Top 100 employers. In the professional services sector, 11,154 apprentices were employed, and 4,537 new apprentices started in 2021-22.
While RSM attracts university graduates as part of its overall trainee recruitment drive, the firm said it continues to focus on school leavers, demonstrating its focus on “attracting more who choose to make the jump into the world of professional services as an alternative to going to university”.
RSM offers trainees a range of career opportunities from technical development and overseas secondments to participation in key corporate and social responsibility activity, including taking on the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.
Rob Donaldson, CEO at RSM UK, said: “We’re delighted to be named the country’s top employer of apprenticeships within professional services and are proud of what we are trying to do. There’s no escaping the cold truth that career prospects for young graduates and school leavers have diminished as a result of the pandemic and wider economic events.
“Whilst our experiences of the past couple of years have presented challenges, our strength as a firm, and what has been a strong period for us financially, has allowed us to take some bold steps, and a long-term approach.”
He added: “So, we’re investing in and growing our very own talent now, and a key part of our plan is to apply it at career-entry level. We believe that is to the benefit of talented young prospective employees looking to join leading organisations, but who are doing it in an extremely competitive market.
“We recognise the various benefits that can result from apprenticeships, not only through investing in the individual’s development and giving them the resources they need to succeed in their careers, but for the firm itself, through the injection of fresh energy and ideas. It’s a great way to onboard new talent and build their skills, which will help to fill the current skills shortages in the UK and create long-term skills for the future.”