|PwC this week celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Technology Degree Apprenticeship programme with Queen’s University Belfast at a special event to welcome the latest cohort of students.|
|The programme was launched in 2018 and gives students the opportunity to combine Software Engineering studies at Queen’s, with high quality work experience in PwC’s Belfast office to gain a full BEng degree. Apprentices receive a full salary from day one as well as fully funded tuition fees and PwC benefits. Applications for the September 2023 intake are now open and candidates can apply through UCAS.
The event brought together senior leaders from PwC and Queen’s at the university to meet the latest apprentices and to discuss more affordable and practical higher education pathways. Discussions were held on how best to develop talent and skills in STEM sectors, especially for underrepresented groups.
The event was part of a wider roadshow of events across the UK to celebrate the success of PwC’s Flying Start Degree Programmes. The roadshow saw members of PwC UK’s Executive Board meeting students at nine of the programme’s partner universities and colleges in England and Northern Ireland.
Paul Terrington, Head of Consulting and Management Board Member at PwC UK, said:
“I’m delighted to celebrate the success of the Flying Start Tech Degree Apprenticeships at Queen’s and to welcome this year’s student group.This innovative scheme is making a real difference to many students and is helping to develop the next generation of tech talent to drive businesses.
“We know that the affordability of further education is an increasing issue for many young people leaving school, so by working with universities and colleges to offer these programmes we can help prevent some incredibly talented people from missing out, while improving social mobility – a key priority for our firm. We believe that everybody should have opportunities to succeed regardless of their social background. No one-size-fits all way to start a career – we want to employ the most talented people and the more routes we have into our profession, the more successful we will be in reaching talent.”
Caitroina McCusker, Regional Market Leader at PwC Northern Ireland, said: “It was so energising to meet with apprentices who are just beginning their career journeys. They are engaged, eager to learn and on a brilliant pathway to becoming the future of tech talent.”
“We know that with advancements in tech there is a mismatch between the knowledge an employer needs to meet business objectives and the supply of tech talent. Our tech degree apprenticeships are about taking action to make this happen. They build on a number of steps we’ve taken including offering paid internships, extending our schools outreach and working to increase the number of people in technology roles from all backgrounds.”
Welcoming the roadshow to Queen’s, Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor David Jones said: “We welcome PwC and the apprentices to Queen’s in what is a very timely context to highlight the importance of affordable pathways to education.
“Queen’s is a university for all and we have processes in place to ensure that those who may not traditionally not have had access to university, now do.
“We work with a range of organisations such as PwC who help offer alternative and more affordable pathways to education which impact on our workforce skills and local economy.”
The Flying Start roadshow took place as PwC returns in person to visit universities for the first time in two years after Covid-enforced hiatus. The firm is looking to visit over 100 UK universities. Alongside the university visits, PwC is launching a new version of its ‘Virtual Park’ – a virtual reality experience enabling students to join the firm’s events remotely – ensuring PwC’s recruitment activity is as accessible and inclusive as possible. For more information on PwC’s early careers programmes, visit: https://www.pwc.co.uk/careers/early-careers/autumn.html.