Apply now for a Flying Business Start in PwC Belfast - earn while you learn

  • PwC has launched applications for its new Business Management related degree apprenticeship as part of their Flying Start programme offering.

    It will start in September 2022 just after the school summer holidays and is an apprenticeship with a twist, in that participants “get the best of both worlds” says Talent Engagement Leader, Cathy Baxter.

    “Those joining us will get to start their career, alongside studying for a degree in a specific subject area, which in this case is the innovative BSc Hons Leading in Customer Operations from Ulster University Business School.

    “It’s post A-Level, so the only requirements we’re looking for are BBC grades at A-Level and that can be from equivalence as well, so if you don’t study A-Levels we look at equivalent subjects too (such as a Level 3 BTEC).

    “This programme is also open to anyone with these A-Level results, regardless of the year they were achieved. So, if you’re looking to change your career then it’s also worth looking into.”

    Participants also have to have a Grade C or above in both English and Maths at GCSE.

    Throughout the four-year programme, they will be employed by PwC and they’ll work in the Operate team in Belfast for most of the week, with one day a week attending classes at Ulster University’s new state-of-the-art Belfast campus.

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    “At the end of the programme, provided they’ve achieved a 2.1 in their degree and evidenced good performance in the role, they’ll remain employed by us,” continued Cathy.

    Cathy is a mum to three daughters and affirmed that she herself would “whole-heartedly want them to do a programme like this because there are so many benefits to it”.

    “There's the debate on what's better, university or starting your career,” she said.

    “Our higher-level apprentices are getting paid from day one, with their monthly salary and the benefits of being employed by an organisation like PwC, and there’s no student debt! They obtain their degree without having to pay the tuition fees themselves.

    “I think for me, one of the other big things is that we're not new to this (at PwC).

    “We started our Flying Start programmes with our accountancy options 19 years ago and since then we've expanded the programme across a number of different universities.

    “We're well versed in working with school leavers and managing that flow of education, training and working in partnership with universities, so the students are in safe and experienced hands.

    “Ultimately, at the end of the four years, they’ll have achieved their degree and, having gained so much business experience on the programme, they’ll start their career in a more advantageous position than those who join us straight from university.”

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    There are 22,000 PwC staff across the UK that have been working from home since the Covid-19 pandemic hit here last March.

    Cathy reflects that although the infrastructure and systems in place have enabled remote working to happen, there will be many people who will be looking forward to returning to the office once it’s safe to do so to reconnect with each other.

    The Belfast staff will eventually return to the company’s brand new Northern Ireland £70m headquarters in the city centre.

    Students on the new Flying Start programme will likely have a blend of being in the office, working from home and going to the university campus when all of this is possible in the future.

    PwC's new offices will occupy all of Belfast's Merchant Square

    Students also don’t require any of their grades to be in business-related subjects.

    “Whilst some basic understanding of business is a good foundation to have,” added Cathy, “the Flying Start programme will bring everyone together without any assumed knowledge of any subject matter.”

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    “We always encourage A-Level students to study what they want to study and what they're passionate about, because you’ll do better in those subjects rather than doing something you feel you should do,” she noted.

    “It’s all about being able to independently learn and prepare for a subject matter.”

    There’s also “no limit” to the career progression within PwC that successful students can have once they finish the apprenticeship.

    “They can go as far as they want within PwC, many of our senior leaders joined us straight from school or college. They've just got to have their ambition and desire to want to succeed and we will fully support them.

    “They’ll all get a ‘buddy’ and they’ll have a team looking after the entire programme, so there's a whole support structure around the students to help them achieve their potential.”

    Applications for a September 2022 start date are now open.

    In order to be considered for the first recruitment drive we require you to complete the following recruitment stages by the below dates at the latest:

    • Application deadline – 26th January at 11pm

    • Career Unlocked: Game Based Assessments – 6th Feb at 11pm
    • Video Interview – 20th Feb at 11pm
    • Virtual Career Focus Assessment Day – w/c 7th March, w/c 14th March, w/c 21st March

    Find more info and apply now here.

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