From education to employment

How PwC and Ada are developing diverse talent for the tech sector

PwC and Ada College welcome first cohort of Tech Degree apprentices

PwC has partnered with further education provider Ada, the National College for Digital Skills to offer young people and those looking to reskill in the North West the opportunity to earn while they learn in a new Technology Degree Apprenticeship (TDA) programme.

The programme will see 65 apprentices joining across three pathways – Cyber Security, Software Engineer and Data Analyst. All of the new recruits will work from PwC’s Manchester office and complete their degree apprenticeship at Ada College.

Almost a third of the apprentices are female – which is above the tech industry average, and a high proportion are from other underrepresented backgrounds in technology, such as minority ethnic and low-income backgrounds.

This is the first time PwC has worked with a further education provider instead of a University to deliver their Technology Degree Apprenticeships, and the company is proud to be offering an alternative entry route to aspiring technologists.

This “work first” programme complements the firm’s “study first” university-based apprenticeships, and will see each apprentice gain a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship over the course of three years and have the tuition fees for their degree fully funded before they continue their careers at PwC and beyond.

Ben Higgin, Head of Technology and Investments at PwC UK, is spearheading this new programme. He says that the Tech Degree Apprenticeship has been specifically designed to appeal to students who want to get practical work experience straight away, and fast track their careers in technology without the traditional university pathway.

He added:

“This programme is an exciting opportunity for people in the North West, creating an opportunity to train much needed talent in our region. As the digital skills gap continues to widen, creating a barrier for growth, we’re proud to share some of the responsibility in supporting a diverse pipeline of entry-level tech talent.

“Our first cohort will be part of our brand-new Tech Hub in the PwC Manchester office and will become PwC employees from day one. They’ll be earning a salary throughout the course which blends 20% college learning with 80% practical work-based technology projects.”

Claire McDonald Apprenticeship Delivery Manager from Ada, the National College for Digital Skills, said:

We are delighted to be working with PwC on the Tech Degree Apprenticeship programme. Manchester is the fastest growing tech hub in Europe so it is the ideal place to launch this ambitious programme. The apprenticeship offering at Ada provides life-changing career opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds for whom university is out of reach. With an Ada apprenticeship you can earn while you learn with the most sought-after employers in the world and you’ll leave Ada with a full degree qualification under your belt. Ada is providing a pipeline of diverse digital talent into the UK tech sector and we are proud that 95% of our apprentice alumni are in permanent employment in the tech sector or enrolled in Higher Education courses.

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