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Big Four accountant EY is to transform its graduate scheme in 2018 by offering apprenticeships to existing students and new joiners.

Eligible graduates will be given the option of working towards a government-accredited apprenticeship alongside their accountancy qualifications.

EY said by the end of 2018 around 1,000 of its graduates are expected to have completed a level seven apprenticeship – equivalent to a master’s university degree.

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“[The apprenticeship] will enhance their training and development opportunities at EY and, when they qualify, students will receive both their professional qualification and an apprenticeship accreditation, equivalent to a master’s degree,” said EY managing partner for talent Maggie Stilwell.

EY wants to better prepare students with the skills and experience needed for the workplace of the future. The firm said it is supportive of the government’s aim to create 3m new apprenticeships by 2020.

Stilwell added: “As a significant employer in the UK, we recognise that we have an important role to play in training the next generation of business leaders.”

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