PwC is one of the region’s largest networks of professional advisors. It employs over 21,000 people across the UK, with 1,400 employees based in Northern Ireland. PwC works with around 80 of Northern Ireland’s top 100 organisations. It offers services in Assurance, Tax, Consulting, Deals, Actuarial and Technology.
PwC’s purpose is to build trust in society and solve important problems. The firm’s strategy is built around being technology enabled, delivering exceptional value to its clients, empowering its people, leading by example and investing in sustainable growth.
What PwC did
In Northern Ireland, PwC’s outreach agenda has focused on tackling employability – an agenda item driven both nationally and locally by Leadership and implemented by the Community Affairs team and the Student Recruitment team which recently joined as one single team with an overarching aim to develop skills and employment prospects for socio-economically disadvantaged young people.
The Northern Ireland outreach has included working with students of all ages, from primary school to higher education, helping define what being employable is and identifying skills they have or can develop. PwC has developed a number of initiatives including a ‘Back to Schools’ post primary tour, a Hive Hackers primary schools coding programme, and employability boot-camps for unemployed graduates. PwC also supports, both financially and with time, external partners to drive their employability agenda.
PwC runs ‘Business Insight Weeks’ which give students from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to take part on one week paid work placements, supporting them through a process to improve access to the profession. PwC supports NI Level 4 Higher Apprenticeships, and has recruited over 138 school leavers over the past four years from schools and colleges across Northern Ireland, providing an alternative to university and a career post A levels.
Impacts and Outcomes
In 2016/’17 PwC had over 300 opportunities for Northern Ireland students
18 schools visited and 360 pupils reached during the ‘Back to Schools Tour’
Business Insight Week offered 20 paid placements to 6th form students in 2016
84% of students said they felt more prepared for the world of work as a result of taking part in the National Schools Employability Challenge
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