London: PwC, the professional services firm, has increased to 120, the number of vacancies it will recruit at Higher Apprentice level in the UK this year — including roles in management consulting — in response to interest in the scheme, and business growth.
The 10 percent increase in roles includes new Higher Apprenticeship vacancies in the firm's Business Recovery Services' team. Additional roles will specialise in Tax and Management consulting, and all roles start training in Autumn/ Winter 2013.
PwC was the first to launch a Higher Apprenticeship in professional services and the first to offer a non graduate route into management consulting. students qualify at level 4, equivalent to the first rung on the Higher Education ladder, and have the opportunity to be operating at the same level in the organisation as their graduate peers after as little as two years. The jobs are based across England and Northern Ireland.
Students work on live business assignments as part of a two year training programme, during which they will gain knowledge of the industry and market, technical skills, leadership skills and commercial awareness, while studying for a professional qualification accredited by the relevant national industry accreditation bodies.
Since launching the Higher Apprenticeship, applications to the school leaver entry programmes have increased 43%. In February alone, PwC received over 250 applications for the first 60 vacancies in the firm's tax division and to date has received over 1500 applications, with another 1500 applications expected for the remaining roles.
Gaenor Bagley, head of people, PwC said, "We're really encouraged by the level of interest students are showing in Higher Apprenticeships at PwC and the fantastic quality and variety in the applicants. For us, it's widened the access gate to the profession without lowering the bar in terms of the talent we're attracting."
63% of the firm's vacancies starting in September and October 2013 are already filled, and the new roles mean the application deadline will be extended to allow more students to consider applying after their A Level results in August. However with school leaver applications to PwC rising from 719 in 2007 to 2,514 in 2012, competition is building for the remaining places and firm's recruitment team recommend early applications as soon as possible for remaining vacancies in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Hull and Belfast.
Richard Irwin, head of student recruitment said, "There's always the temptation to leave it to the last minute to weigh up your options, but we only hold jobs open until we've found the right candidate. The earlier you make an informed decision to apply, the better the chance you will have."
Overall PwC will recruit 1200 graduate and school leavers in 2013, and around 400 interns.