The Times Top Graduate Employers 2015-2016 sees PwC, Aldi and Google take the lead

This year's top 100 list is offering almost 10% more graduate jobs compared with last year

As one of the Big Four auditing firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has been named as the best graduate employer in the UK for the 12th year running in this year’s The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers list.

Aldi and Google have both reached their highest ever position in the rankings – at numbers two and three respectively – which the German retailer said is a testament to its ability to provide highly sought-after and rewarding graduate opportunities.

Other significant changes in this year’s top ten include the Teach First scheme slipping from second into fourth place, although it did recruit 1,700 graduates last year – the highest number ever taken on in a one-year period by a single UK recruiter.

As well as this, the civil service has returned to fifth place this year from sixth spot last year, and the remaining Big Four have also made up the top ten to join PwC, with Deloitte, EY, and KPMG taking sixth, eighth, and ninth respectively.

When combined together, the top 100 list is offering 22,300 graduate vacancies in 2016 – 9.6 per cent more on last year, meaning entry-level jobs at the UK’s leading employers have increased four times over the past five recruitment periods as employers prepare to take on their highest number of graduates next year.

As the first retailer to be in the top two since the rankings were first published in 1999, Aldi described how its brand is now a serious option for graduates. Regional managing director, Ruth Doyle, said: “No other retailer has been able to match Aldi’s second place since the rankings were launched in 1999, and we’re sure that graduates wishing to pursue a career in retail or management will seriously consider the opportunities on offer at Aldi.”

Head of student recruitment at top employer PwC, Richard Irwin, praised students for their high opinion of the firm, despite there being a 'significant change' in the graduate job market over the past decade.

Emphasising the importance of students being able to have a sense of an organisation before they join – to help them make informed decisions about their future – he said: “Students who take part in our internship and work experience placements schemes have the opportunity to see at first hand the key skills we ultimately look for in our graduate recruits and decide for themselves whether we offer the opportunity that is right for them.”Said to be the definitive annual guide to Britain’s most sought-after and prestigious employers of graduates, the latest rankings have been compiled from interviews with just over 18,400 graduates who left a UK university in 2015.

All participants were asked the open-ended question: “Which employer do you think offers the best opportunities for graduates?” 

Editor of the rankings, Martin Birchall, described the purpose of the exercise as being to replicate the reality that graduates can only work for one organisation at a time, adding: “At each stage of the job search, there are choices to be made as to which direction you take.”

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