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Bradford: making the right move

Our new PwC Assurance Centre in Bradford is one of our key priorities in delivering a best-in-class proposition as one of the world’s leading professional services firms. 

Setting the scene

We are using alternative delivery models to continue to deliver quality to our clients, wherever they are based. 

Our new Assurance Centre is part of this transformation, investing in Bradford and unlocking the talent in the area.

Why Bradford? Well, we're getting involved in the city for a few reasons:

  • First, because of the strength of our links with local schools and colleges.
  • Second, our proud history of local community activity.
  • Third, our links with the technology degree apprenticeship the firm has launched with Leeds University, which last year saw 36 computer science graduates start the first of our fully funded course.

Last year, the Government launched 12 Opportunity Areas (OA) in social mobility 'coldspots', where businesses and schools come together to offer business skills, training and experience to young people in areas of disadvantage. Will Richardson, our Leeds office senior partner, sits on the Bradford Opportunity Area Partnership Board that has been set up by the Department for Education. As part of the board we are currently working on the Bradford Delivery Plan, which will outline the key priorities to drive social mobility in Bradford.

This aims to help improve young people's employment and education outcomes - research shows that a young person who has four or more encounters with an employer will do better at school and have better outcomes after school. They're 86% less likely to be unemployed or not in education or training and will earn 18% more to boot.

How we helped

Social mobility is both a critical challenge and opportunity for the UK. It’s about breaking the all too often inevitable link between a person’s life chances and their background.

At PwC, supporting skills development and social mobility is not just about who comes to work for us; it’s about how we can support a much wider group of people to progress as far as their talent and determination will take them - whatever career path that takes them down.

By choosing Bradford as the location of our Assurance Centre we have demonstrated our commitment to solving important problems – creating opportunities for people while tackling big issues like social mobility.

Our move to the city was made possible by working closely, over several months, with Cllr Susan Susan Hinchcliffe, Leader of Bradford Council and Chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, Kersten England, CEO of Bradford Council and David Baldwin, Chair of the Bradford Economic Partnership.

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“Coming from this city, you don’t really hear of these kinds of opportunities. I never thought in a million years when I was growing up that I’d be working for a firm like PwC, but I’m really excited to see what’s ahead. I’ve already been selected to start my PQ in September.”

Sonia Khan, 23

Making a difference

At PwC, our people are our biggest strength and we will continue to invest more in jobs and training.

However, we want to constantly evolve the way we recruit and train people to be the best they can be, regardless of their background. In Bradford, we have created opportunities and expectation that previously didn’t exist: we have hired 80 and are recruiting for a further 60 roles, the vast majority from the local area. We’re aiming to employ 225 people at the Centre in the next two years.

Whether someone is ready for a career change, at the start of their working life or just after a new challenge, the new Assurance Centre will help develop skills and boost employability irrespective of background.

What we now want to see are like-minded organisations following our lead.