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grad schemes marking boycott

Three of Big Four firms commit to taking grads even if they don’t have any grades

The marking boycott is causing chaos

Three of the Big Four companies have confirmed they’ll still take students effected by the marking boycott onto their grad schemes, if they’ve already secured a place— even if they don’t have any grades.

EY, PwC, and Deloitte told The Tab they’ll be contacting thousands of incoming graduates to “reassure” and “guarantee” them their jobs are safe, despite still not knowing what degree classification they’ve graduated with. However, KPMG offered no such certainty and told The Tab it would decide students’ fate on a “case-by-case basis”.

Lecturers at almost every UK university have been refusing to carry out marking and other assessment work like exam invigilation since April. This follows weeks’ worth of strikes earlier this academic year, as staff are in an ongoing campaign for better pay and pensions.

“University leavers of 2023 have faced more than a degree of disruption,” said Kevin Ellis, chair of PwC. “First Covid, now the risk of delayed results. We want to make sure uncertainty about when they’ll start work isn’t another thing they have to worry about. This is about extra reassurance so students start the holidays with peace of mind.”

“Our offer-holders have already proved themselves through our assessments so we are confident in their abilities and potential,” added Ian Elliott, chief people officer at PwC.  “Given the unprecedented circumstances, we feel it is important to tell our people now that their start date with us will remain unchanged.”

Meanwhile, a Deloitte spokesperson commented: “We are looking forward to welcoming our graduate intake this September, even if they are yet to receive their degree results. Students leaving university this summer will have been impacted by Covid and now delayed results; we want to reassure them that they will still be able to start their graduate roles as planned.”

The reassurance comes after a Tab survey found only a quarter of UK uni students support the marking boycott. “We are paying absolute thousands of pounds to be here only for them to not mark our work,” said one Glasgow student. “They are literally holding up an entire generation of undergraduates from investing in their future… It’s jeopardising people’s grad jobs, Master’s and graduations. I’ll be stressing the whole summer until I get my results.”

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Overworked and underpaid: Why grads are ditching jobs at the Big Four 

• These are the unis you need to go to if you want to land a job at a Big Four firm