Applications to PwC student programmes at record high
Big 4 accountancy firm PwC has received the most applications from students this year.
One of the most established players in the accountancy sector recently made a controversial move regarding entry criteria and has now seen a huge surge in graduate and apprenticeship interest.
The company has seen a 15% increase in applications for its graduate roles this year and this is in some part due to its decision to discontinue taking UCAS scores into account as part of the entry criteria.
More than 41,000 students applied for PWC's 2,000-plus graduate, paid internships, school leaver and work placement positions this time round, marking a high watermark level in popularity amongst students for these opportunities.
PwC's success in a highly competitive sector was recently illustrated by the firm retaining its Easyjet audit contract in the face of a 10-way tender.
This, alongside the wide range of job and training opportunities, has helped the company to attract substantial student interest.
Improvements in equality performance have also seen the female graduate intake rise to 47% from 41% in 2014.
It is not only graduates who are being attracted to the firm either, as the number of people applying to the firm's Higher Apprenticeship programme rose 17% this year.
Alternative training options mean that the 165 Higher Apprenticeship roles are increasingly attracting interest and received 117% more applications than the school leaver programme did in 2010.
Head of people at PwC, Gaenor Bagley commented: "The level of interest in our student roles this year is simply astounding, especially given the fierce competition for top talent. The surge in applications, since we changed our graduate recruitment criteria, is an early indicator that efforts to attract students from wider pockets of society is working. We are seeing young people begin to rethink the career options available to them and make informed decisions about their future career."