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Employer offering loans to graduates so as they can afford rent in Dublin

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One of the country’s biggest employers of new graduates has been forced to introduce interest-free loans to help new recruits secure rental accommodation in Dublin.

The country managing partner at accounting and advisory giant EY, Mike McKerr, has revealed that his firm is providing the interest-free loans on flexible terms to graduate trainees in order to ensure that they are able to secure accommodation and so take up placements in Dublin.

EY took on 248 graduates in the past financial year. A role with the firm is seen as a springboard to a professional career. In May of this year, the firm was named Graduate Employer of The Year at the Gradireland awards. Starting salaries for new graduates, who train with the firm, range from €24,000 to €31,000.

The loans scheme reflects the difficulties in the housing market and can be drawn down if needed, Mr McKerr said.

EY is able to recoup the money through its payroll, so it is effectively an advance on wages.

It has seven offices across Ireland, but the loan scheme is only needed in Dublin, where the accommodation crisis has created a danger that some recruits won’t be able to take up jobs.