Pricewaterhouse Coopers tax practice is the first firm to offer Higher Apprenticeships under the new government scheme.
New recruits are expected in July, while other areas of the PwC firm, such as the advisory and assurance practices, are looking into joining the scheme, with a further 1,500 new Higher Apprenticeship places expected by 2015 under the new framework.
PwC partner Gaenor Bagley said: “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 ten 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.”
PwC’s two-year tax Apprenticeship, based on the government sponsored Higher Apprenticeship framework and developed by PwC, provides recruits with a nationally recognised apprenticeship while they develop skills in a professional service. The apprenticeship is expected to be formally endorsed by the government in the near future.
The apprenticeship consists of a combination of classroom learning and practical training, with successful recruits earning a professional services business qualification with the Association of Tax Technicians (ATT) at the end of their course. Higher Apprentices also begin working for PwC upon entering the scheme, as well as working towards their qualification.
The tailored apprenticeship provides recruits with not only a recognised ATT qualification, but students also develop business skills in managing performance, commercial awareness, and communications, skills which provide important preparation for a career in audit, taxation and management consultancy.
Bagley continued: "‘We believe the Higher Apprenticeship will help a wider group of potential recruits gain access to professional services. The programme reflects our commitment to widening access to the profession, encouraging social mobility and offering top quality school leaver career opportunities. Last year we signed up to the government’s Business Compact on Social Mobility because we think it is vital to encourage diversity, to reflect the communities we work in and the clients we have."
A popular destination for school and university leavers, PwC offers 60 Higher apprenticeship places as part of its student and graduate programme as well as recruiting on average 1000 graduates and over 200 interns each year.