Movers & Shakers: Accountancy firm Grant Thornton welcomes new student recruits

Grant Thornton graduate recruting officer Vanessa Harvey, second from left, with new trainees, from

Grant Thornton graduate recruting officer Vanessa Harvey, second from left, with new trainees, from left, Emma Webb, Olivia Adams and Sam Jenner. - Credit: Archant

The Ipswich office of accountants Grant Thornton has welcomed six new recruits to launch their careers through the firm’s training programme, and a new graduate recruiting officer for the region.

David Mahony, Aaron Farmer, Emma Webb, Olivia Adams, Sam Jenner and Alex Steward have all joined the scheme which gives both school leavers and graduates the opportunity to work towards professional accounting qualifications while gaining valuable on the job experience alongside members of Grant Thornton’s expert team.

Vanessa Harvey has also taken up the position of graduate recruiting officer for the firm’s eight offices across the central region and will be based at the firm’s Ipswich office.

Since 2013, Grant Thornton has taken a radical departure from the industry norm by dropping GCSE, A-Level and degree results as requirements for new candidates and instead focusing on the individual’s talent, values and potential.

This approach has enabled those from wider socioeconomic backgrounds to take up career opportunities at the firm. Associate director at the Ipswich office, Ian Thoroughgood, said: “Removing the traditional entry requirements which many professional firms still employ means we can recruit the brightest and best talent, regardless of background.

“Our research clearly shows that performance is not always directly linked to academic achievement and by solely focusing on this, many firms could be missing out on vital young talent. Creating a diverse workforce is not only good for us as a firm, but also for our people, our clients and for creating a vibrant economy where people, businesses and communities can thrive.

“We are delighted to welcome our six new recruits to the Ipswich office who are all energetic, bright and driven individuals, each offering their own valuable skills set. Vanessa’s role will also help strengthen our continued commitment to the firm’s graduate and school leaver programme and we look forward to working alongside and supporting them all to progress what we hope will be a long career with Grant Thornton.”

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Throughout the programme all trainees undergo expert external and internal training, working closely with Grant Thornton’s skilled teams to develop their technical knowledge and apply learning across a variety of sectors.

::East of England law firm Birketts has welcomed Beth Baird to its employment law team as a senior associate.

Beth is a Legal 500 Leading Individual for Employment, whose experience includes both contentious and non-contentious work with a focus on discrimination law, whistle blowing, restrictive covenants, TUPE, redundancy programmes and cases involving Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

She will be based at the law firm’s Chelmsford office but supports colleagues across Birketts’ four offices: Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich.

Kevin Palmer, partner and head of employment in Chelmsford, said: “Beth will be an asset to the employment law team both here in Chelmsford and the wider team across the region. She has worked with a broad client base, covering both claimant and respondent work. Her previous experience in investment banking will also be of tremendous value to our clients, particularly those in the professional services industry.

Beth said she was “delighted” to join the team.

::TheStowmarket-based Museum of East Anglian Life has appointed Jenny Cousins as its new director.

Jenny’s previous role was at Duxford, working for Imperial War Museums. She led a five-year redevelopment of the American Air Museum which re-opened in March, and the creation of the American Air Museum in Britain website, which is dedicated to crowdsourcing photographs and information about the Second World War in East Anglia from members of the public.

She said: “I’m thrilled to be leading the team at the Museum of East Anglian Life. The museum has huge potential and can give visitors a real taste of how our ancestors lived and worked. I’m keen to tell their stories and the stories of recent generations in new and exciting ways.”

Chairman Glen Horn said: “We are pleased to have Jenny on board to lead the museum in the next phase of its development. We are excited about the plans for the museum as it nears its 50th anniversary next year.”

Prior to Duxford, Jenny worked for English Heritage. She led exhibition projects including Charles Darwin’s home, Down House, Lullingstone Roman Villa in Kent and the garden interpretation at Chiswick House. Jenny is a member of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Committee for London.

She grew up in the Lake District and studied history at Balliol College, Oxford and Birkbeck College, University of London.

::Ipswich-based HR firm MAD-HR has welcomed Charlotte Bate to its board of directors

Charlotte joined this month to support the growth of the business, bringing a wealth of experience as an HR Professional, Trainer and Coach across most industries from marketing to manufacturing, construction and engineering.

Managing director Carole Burman said: “Charlotte will be a real asset to our company. We’ve worked together previously and so I know that she has a proven record of helping businesses to develop effective, motivated teams lead by capable and inspiring managers.

“Her work focuses on helping clients’ businesses to thrive rather than survive. Being an employer is a serious undertaking but with Charlotte’s ability to provide clear, concise and commercial advice and support to clients blended with a friendly and positive approach made her a perfect choice to join our team.”

Charlotte said: “I am excited to hit the ground running. We have plans to grow our training and development offering as we continue to provide flexible and affordable HR support to businesses in the region. I am really pleased to be working with Carole again. We share the same ethos which is a client-focused approach and I know that we make a great team.”

::Suffolk Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new events and membership co-ordinator for the west of the county.

Kayleigh Streeton joins with a brief to support and develop the dozens of networking and speaker events it runs in the Haverhill & District and Newmarket & District areas, as well as supporting new and current members in the area.

While studying for her degree in Event Management at University of Suffolk, Kayleigh took advantage of a number of opportunities to gain experience at Suffolk Chamber, including unpaid work experience and a spell as an intern.

Amanda Ankin, head of chamber services, said: “We’re delighted that she has joined us as she combines both a knowledge of our values and how we work and a real enthusiasm for the role.”

Kayleigh said: “It’s great to be back. Suffolk Chamber continues to grow and grow and its increasingly diverse support for the local business community means the organisation is more relevant than ever before.”

::Suffolk nurse Claire Woodman, director of Ipswich-based Poppy Nursing Services, which supplies temporary staff to hospitals and care homes, has reached the UK national finals of the (Institute of Directors (IoD) Young Director of the Year awards 2016.

The 32-year-old scooped a place after winning the regional awards in the category for businesses with an annual turnover of less than £10m.

She was singled out for her “innovation, determination and customer focus” and will find out if she is the UK-wide winner on October 21, at a prestigious ceremony in London.

“I always say I am a nurse first and a businesswoman second and it is this ethos that has helped me drive forward the culture and philosophy of my company, making it a leader in its field,” she said.

“I am absolutely delighted to be representing Suffolk – and the rest of my team - at the national finals.

“It’s an honour to be in the company of some of the UK’s most inspirational directors and to be shortlisted among them is testament to how far we have come and the innovative approach we have taken.”

Claire started the company in 2014 with business partner Kelly-Anne Byres, an accountant.