Next generation: PwC tech degree apprenticeships launched

Setting the scene

As one of the UK’s largest graduate employers, we are committed to helping grow the UK’s next generation of technology talent.

Starting in September 2018, the innovative technology degree apprenticeship programme will initially see 120 students a year combining university life with practical work-based learning at PwC, based in the same city as they are studying. The four year course is being developed by PwC in partnership with five leading universities. We will see 100 students start their technology apprenticeship degrees with the Universities of Birmingham and Leeds, and Queen’s University Belfast, and a further 20 students on data science graduate apprenticeship degrees at the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews.

 

 

“Getting the right flow of talent is the key to economic innovation. Edinburgh has emerged as a major centre of tech innovation over the last decade and the biggest driving force has been the flow of people with the right data skills into the local economy."

Work-based learning and Graduate Apprenticeships are key to supporting that talent pipeline, as Professor Charlie Jeffery, Vice Principal of the University of Edinburgh explained

How we helped

It will be one of the first and largest examples of the new Level 6 degree apprenticeships in England and Northern Ireland, and Level 10 graduate apprenticeships in Scotland. Students will be employed as PwC apprentices from the first day and receive a salary and other benefits throughout. At the end of the programme they will come away with a BSc degree in Computer Science, Data Science or Software Engineering and a job at PwC, if they meet performance criteria.

PwC will work closely with its university partners to design the programme to prepare young people for the changing world of work and to equip them with the digital skills in high-demand from businesses.

This is another step in PwC’s aim to drive radical changes in the diversity and social mobility of the professional services’ industry by opening up broader access to talented young people.

Making a difference

PwC’s apprenticeships have been designed to help address the UK’s technology skills gap and improve the industry’s diversity. PwC research reveals that over two thirds (67%) of UK CEOs find it difficult to recruit people with digital skills, higher than their global peers. Recruiting women with these skills is particularly challenging - separate PwC research found that only 27% of female A-level and university students would consider a career in technology compared to 62% of males.

To address this, PwC will particularly target these apprenticeship programmes at getting more females interested in technology careers, as well using its Back to School programme to raise awareness of the programme with students in more disadvantaged areas.

“Like PwC, we too believe in addressing the UK’s technology skills gap and improving the industry’s diversity, and are proud to be instrumental in educating the industry’s future talent.”

Professor Jon Binner, College of Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Birmingham

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