London: PwC is close to offering apprenticeships in its consulting business after it became the first firm to offer places under the new UK professional services Higher Apprenticeship framework, a scheme designed by its own management consultants.
Initially it intends to offer 60 Apprenticeships in its tax practice. New recruits are expected to join the PwC tax practice from July, while use of the framework in the firm's advisory and assurance practices is also being assessed.
Gaenor Bagley, PwC partner and Head of People, said, "Our new Higher Apprenticeship programme is a real alternative for talented students who want to get into business straight from school or college, but without compromising on high quality training and development.
"Over the last ten years we have recruited over 500 school and college leavers across the firm. By implementing this new framework, it's a great opportunity for us to make the training and development opportunities for school leavers even better."
The two year tax Apprenticeship is based on the new, government sponsored professional services Higher Apprenticeship framework that PwC's own consulting practice has developed with employers and professional bodies, and which is expected to be formally endorsed by Government in the near future. By doing a formal Apprenticeship, people can take an accredited route to a highly skilled career in professional services within a nationally recognised framework.
Trainees will combine on the job experience and training with classroom learning. Apprentices in the tax practice will achieve a recognised professional services business qualification with the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT). Alongside the ATT, students will develop their business skills in areas such as managing performance, commercial awareness, and communications. On joining PwC, the Higher Apprentices will start working straight away while undertaking formal training and qualifications.
"We believe the Higher Apprenticeship will help a wider group of potential recruits gain access to professional services", Bagley said.
"The programme reflects our commitment to widening access to the profession, encouraging social mobility and offering top quality school leaver career opportunities. Last year we signed up to the government's Business Compact on Social Mobility because we think it is vital to encourage diversity, to reflect the communities we work in and the clients we have."