PwC programme highlights alternative to university route

Photo credit: CABINET OFFICE

Photo credit: CABINET OFFICE

A global accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, has become the first of its kind to begin offering apprenticeships to students directly after their A-Levels.

The London-based company has pioneered the Higher Apprenticeships scheme, which is government backed and sponsored, by offering 60 apprenticeships directly to secondary school students. Opportunities are being made available in specialist accounting fields ranging from Assurance to Advisory.

Under the scheme school leavers would start their apprenticeships in July, and would receive formal teaching and training combined with a wide variety of on-the-job experiences. PwC promises to develop students’ skills in communication, performance management, and commercial awareness throughout the two-year programme.

Numerous employers and professional bodies were consulted prior to the scheme’s introduction in order to offer the best possible prospects to successful applicants. Upon completion, students will gain a recognised professional services business qualification with the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT).

Commenting on the scheme, Gaenor Bagley, PwC partner and Head of People noted:“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 10 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 Higher Apprenticeships scheme is soon to be officially endorsed by the government and has been developed with assistance from the Coalition. It comes as students seek alternatives to the typical school to university transition in light of rising fees.

In the last five years, applications to schemes such as this within the PwC have increased by 300 per cent, indicating the attractiveness of schemes which provide the security of work without the worry of university debt.

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