The Education Partnerships Awards: PwC

Finalist for Business in the Community’s Education Partnerships Award 2019.

PwC: Helping 25,000 young people improve chances to progress in work, regardless of their background

  • Five-year target to help 25,000 young people
  • In 2018, 78% of students said they had developed skills
  • 4,000 hours of volunteering time by PwC staff in first year

According to PwC, an assurance, tax and advisory firm, its purpose as a business is to build trust in society and solve important problems. As a major employer in the UK, its Schools Engagement programme (SEP) is a big part of this.

 Its key aim is to work with the country’s most disadvantaged students to raise their aspirations and bring them closer to PwC, so that they can better understand the skills they need for work. In 2017, the firm set a five-year target to help 25,000 young people to develop their workplace skills. In the first year, more than 600 PwC volunteers spent over 4,000 hours working with hundreds of schools and 7,000 students. 

“I grew-up on an East London council estate. I had big career aspirations and a real passion for people. I’m passionate about ensuring PwC is an inclusive employer for everyone, regardless of their background or start in life, allowing people to progress and be their very best.”

Laura Hinton, Chief People Officer, PwC 

Of those taking part in the employability, skills and mentoring sessions in 2018, 78% of students said they’d developed skills, including teamwork, communication and interview techniques. Meanwhile, 72% reported increased confidence, 86% said their business awareness was better and 70% had increased aspirations. 

The programme has also seen an increase in the number of individuals from lower socio-economic backgrounds applying and gaining a place on PwC’s work experience scheme, increasing from 84 places to 156.  

For the business, the schools engagement work is enabling it to widen its talent pool. It is also helping to boost employee engagement, with volunteers on the SEP saying that it had helped their development (81%), improve their network (63%) and enhanced their awareness of social mobility (55%). 

The information in this impact story has been supplied by PwC.