Tag Archives: KPMG

A smart investment in future talent

Last week KPMG, the global consulting firm, announced plans to launch a 6 year training programme to turn 100 of this years school leavers in to Accountants.  The specifics see KPMG working with 20 schools in disadvantaged areas to recruit 100 school leavers in to BSc Accounting and Finance.  This will then be followed up by a two-year post degree training programme leading to a professional accounting qualification.

Tuition fees and accommodation costs will be covered by KPMG for the duration of the degree programme.  Starting salary post degree for accounting trainees will commence at £20,000 per annum and is expected to rise to around £45,000 once the training course has been completed.  The target is for around 400 pupils per annum to be recruited in to this scheme.

Last year we had McDonalds announce they were to introduce and support degree programmes for staff.


Is this part of a wider trend amongst employers to support further and higher education?  Clearly the rising costs of tuition fees inflames passions, as we have witnessed from the recent student demonstrations.  The issue of employee engagement is firmly on the agenda and talent attraction and retention is a challenge for so many.

KPMG, like many firms offering training schemes, suffers from having many who qualify leave to other businesses who then benefit from that investment.  Will starting early and supporting education and professional training in this way strengthen the psychological contract between employer and employee?

I for one am not convinced.  Employee engagement is an ongoing commitment.  However, this is not just about a great pr move, it is part of a genuine commitment to invest in giving school leavers a better future.  We should not just rely on government to fill in the gaps.  The private sector needs to take a longer term view about the talent of tomorrow.   I for one applaud KPMG, McDonalds and those like them for investing in that future.


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On the road to recovery – the outlook for the jobs market.

A number of good signs for job seekers and recruiters alike this week.  On Monday Michael Page, the UK’s second largest recruiter, announced gross profit for the fourth quarter of 2010 of £119.8 million, up 32% on 2009.  When you dig in to the numbers, there is yet more encouragement to be found.  Permanent job vacancies were up 40%, with temporary vacancies up 10% in the same period.

Further investigation suggests confidence slowly returning to the jobs market.  Interesting to note comments from Steve Ingham, CEO at Michael Page, talk of the increase in permanent job vacancies being driven by “churn” in the employment market place, that is employees moving jobs, as opposed to new jobs being created.

Why should this be cause for optimism?  This points to people being less concerned about moving jobs.  Taking the leap to a new employer and the “last in first out” fear that can engender in tough times appears to be on the wane.  That’s a good sign.  Confidence has a huge part to play in the employment market just as it does in all areas of the economy.

This morning we had the results of the KPMG and Recruitment and Employment Confederation Jobs Market Survey for December.  Demand for permanent staff rose at the fastest rate for four months.  Demand for temporary staff rose at its fastest rate for six months.

The greatest demand for permanent staffing was in IT, professional services, engineering and accounting.  One of the areas to evidence skills shortages, sales, offers yet further encouragement.  Demand for Executive Talent amongst Transcend customers has been greatest for Sales and Marketing Directors.  Typically these have been newly created appointments in circumstances where employers, having cut back on sales and marketing during the recession, now feel they have opportunities to grow but realise they lack the talent to fulfil them.

Other areas where talent is in increasing demand but skills are short include project management and engineering.   Both evidence good signs.  So many projects over the last 3 years, unless under the auspices of “business critical”, have been shelved.  Companies are starting to re – invest, slowly but surely, to spend money again, having horded cash in tough times.  Projects are being kicked off and once again talent is needed to fulfil requirements.  An increased demand for Engineering talent endorses the positive results being enjoyed by the manufacturing sector.  Long may it continue.

We have yet to understand the full impact of the austerity measures on the employment market.  Public Sector job losses we know are inevitable.  More needs to be done in to encourage jobs creation in the private sector if the impact on overall unemployment is to be minimised.  At least the rhetoric from government supports this, we now need to see the evidence.  More needs to be done from a legislative viewpoint to encourage employers to hire staff, indeed to make it easier and cheaper to hire staff.  A reduction in the rate of Employers NI would be a good start.

I am encouraged by what I see, what I read, what I hear from customers.  There is real cause for optimism, cautious optimism maybe, but optimism nonetheless.

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Filed under Hiring, Job Creation, Recruitment

Half full or half empty?

This morning the latest UK Recruitment and Employment Confederation / KPMG UK Labour Market Survey is out.  Good news is to be found amongst the headlines.  Firstly the number of job vacancies grew.  There are more jobs available in September 2010 than September 2009.  More people were appointed to permanent jobs in September 2010 than 2009.  These are positive signs and should give cause for optimism.  They don’t.  Why is that?  Good news doesn’t sell newspapers, it doesn’t work on air.   The 24 hour media world in which we now live is not interested in painting a positive picture.

Take the BBC (those purveyors of doom and gloom for us Brits).  The headline for the above report reads as follows;

“Jobs market growth slows again”

Talk about how to turn a positive in to a negative!  We have jobs market growth.  However virtually every media outlet reporting this story focuses on slowing jobs market growth.

Why is jobs growth slowing?  Nothing here that we weren’t expecting, nothing that we all know needs to happen.  Jobs market growth is slowing is because public sector hiring activity has slowed dramatically.  It had to.  At one point we had 52% of the UK workforce working in the public sector.  Simple economics dictate that is impossible to sustain.  We just can’t afford it.

Back to the good news.  There is continued strong demand for engineering, construction and executive staff, reflecting the recovery in the private sector.  We need it.  Services (public or private) cannot sustain an economy, we need to make stuff.  Growth in manufacturing is vital to the long-term sustainable success of the UK economy.  Job creation in the private sector is great news for all.  It is job creation in the private sector that feeds the great public sector services we have in the UK.

Back to the headlines?  If your glass is half full, you have jobs growth.  That gives people, business and employers confidence.  It encourages people to think positively about investment intentions, hiring intentions.  Confidence is fragile but it is crucial to so many elements of the economy.   If your glass is half empty and jobs growth is slowing, you are nervous.  You are not going to hire, invest, grow your business, create jobs.  The talk is of a double dip in the jobs market in much the same way as it is talked about incessantly about the economy.

I wonder if journalists ever stop to consider the wider implications of what they report?

Self fulfilling prophesy?  Be careful what you wish for.

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Filed under Hiring, Job Creation