PwC has extended its unique technology degree apprenticeship to a third UK university - Queen’s University, Belfast - giving more young people the chance to develop in-demand technology skills and experience.
Queen’s Belfast joins PwC’s existing partnership with the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds, reinforcing the firm’s commitment to regional investment and to developing talent to meet the UK’s growing demand for technology expertise.
PwC is already one of the UK’s largest graduate employers and the innovative four-year technology degree apprenticeship programme has been designed by PwC in partnership with the universities. Starting in September 2018, it will give 100 students per year a traditional university experience and degree in computer science or software engineering, combined with practical work-based technology projects at PwC, tailored course content, great job prospects and a salary from day one.
The students will not incur any student debt, as university fees are paid through the apprenticeship levy in England and the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland.
Announcing the extension of the technology degree apprenticeship to include Queen’s Belfast, Kevin Ellis, chairman and senior partner at PwC, said:
“For the UK to prosper post-Brexit we need to create a thriving and world-class technology industry right across the country, combining innovation with human insight and business understanding.
“To meet this challenge we need to think differently about how and where we develop skills, and how businesses and the education sector work together.
“We have designed our technology degree apprenticeship to be truly open to all, so that everyone has the chance to participate in the high-skilled and high-paid jobs of the future.”
PwC’s technology degree apprenticeship has been created to help plug the UK’s technology skills gap and improve the industry’s gender balance. PwC’s CEO Survey reveals that over two thirds (67%) of UK CEOs say it’s difficult to recruit people with digital skills. The fact the course fees are fully-funded and based across the country, gives more students the opportunity to develop the technology skills and experience demanded by businesses as they seek to drive growth.
Paul Terrington, PwC’s head of regions and Northern Ireland chairman, said:
“Creating the right environment for technological innovation to flourish right across the country will be central to rebalancing the UK economy.
“With our technology degree apprenticeship available in Birmingham, Leeds, and now in Belfast, we’re dispelling the myth that all tech talent needs to be trained and employed in London.
“Currently, we’re recruiting six-in-ten of our PwC graduates outside London and this technology degree programme will further expand much-needed technology skills and experience in the UK regions.”
Recruiting females with tech skills is particularly challenging. PwC’s Women in Tech research reveals that the gender gap in technology starts at school and gets worse at every stage of females’ lives. Only 3% of females surveyed say technology is their first-choice career option.
Professor Ian Williams, Dean of Education for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Queen’s University Belfast, said:
“Queen’s University Belfast is a beacon of learning and innovation and is committed to employability with more than 94 per cent of our graduates securing employment or further study within six months.
“This Higher Level Apprenticeship with PwC is a shining example of how educators and industry can work together to improve the skills economy locally, nationally and internationally providing students, regardless of their background, with a degree from a world-class Russell Group University with global ambition.”
PwC has a track record of collaborating with universities and developing apprentices across its business. Since starting its Higher Apprenticeship school leaver programme in 2012, PwC has hired nearly 600 employees via this route.
Notes for editors.
For more information on the programme and how to apply please visit www.pwc.com/uk/careers/techflyingstart
For more information on PwC’s student careers opportunities please visit www.pwc.co.uk/careers
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