BHP is one of the leading independent accountancy firms in the North.

At BHP, we believe that recruiting the brightest young people in the city, while they are still in education, is a fantastic way of discovering new talent. At BHP, we’re passionate about nurturing and developing the skills of young people looking to work in the finance industry. This means, I have the privilege of overseeing the recruitment of university students, as well as students currently studying for their A levels.

We work closely with the two universities in Sheffield and regularly attend their careers fairs. We also liaise closely with the placement departments at the universities to help us find suitable candidates to apply for our 12-month placement scheme. It’s great to be able to give undergraduates the opportunity to experience life at BHP while gaining high-quality, professional work experience.

Our ultimate aim is to build a pipeline of top talent – ideally, we’ll take on a placement student and they’ll stay with us for a year before leaving our programme with a postgraduate offer of employment in hand.

The idea of our placement scheme is to mirror as closely as possible what our new, graduate trainees would do. In addition to them gaining valuable experience, the students can find out what they like to do best and what they are most skilled at. It’s a great opportunity for them to work all that out while they are still in university – and it’s also useful for us as we’re likely to gain a permanent employee who already knows the firm and is happy with what they’re doing.

Given that becoming an accountant requires further study and exams in order to gain a qualification, we’re finding that those who have been through our student placement scheme often find the examinations less difficult – perhaps due to the fact that they have so much practical experience already.

We’re also passionate about working with secondary schools in some of the more socio- economically deprived areas of the city. We’re eager to promote the benefits of a career in finance to the students, and to assist them with life skills such as how to handle a job interview.

It’s great to be able to help the next generation realise that they can have a career in finance, which otherwise might never have been on their radar. Not only are we able to support the community and young people by providing secure career opportunities, but we’re also helping our firm to grow by employing fresh new talent.