New PwC programme to open up professional apprenticeships for business in London

Published at 10:26 AM on 17 December 2013

An innovative apprenticeships programme will be delivered in the capital’s professional and business services sector, providing 250 apprenticeships to attract outstanding young Londoners into professional services roles.

The London Professional Apprenticeship (LPA), developed by education and skills specialists from PwC, will receive £1.4 million from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) with PwC contributing £900,000.

The LPA is particularly focused on helping small businesses attract high performing, motivated young people. Led by PwC, the programme will work with employers to develop 250 apprenticeships, aimed at attracting outstanding young Londoners into professional and business services roles in the London area.

The programme is designed to address the needs of London’s employers and young people, and includes training modules that are relevant to the capital, such as exporting, entrepreneurship and London's role in the UK and global economy. The model has been designed to be sustainable however and could be applied to other cities or region.

Business Secretary Vince Cable said:

“This innovative programme will accelerate apprenticeship training in an important sector.

“The Professional and Business Skills sector relies heavily on the quality of its people and the future success of the sector will depend on recruiting a diverse workforce with a broad skills set. PwC has made good progress recruiting apprentices on its existing programme, and I hope many other firms, particularly small businesses, will join and make the LPA programme just as successful.”

Small businesses that join the LPA will be able to take advantage of a streamlined recruitment process, making it easier for them to access talent to help them grow. It will also provide an environment for apprentices to learn together and develop networks that will remain with them for life.

Sara Caplan, partner, PwC said

“The LPA is a new way of learning for London to create the next generation of business people and the networks to support them in training and beyond. It’s specifically designed to widen access to professional and business services based on people’s potential to learn and employer’s drive to grow, and challenges traditional perceptions of who can access career opportunities in London.”

The professional and business services  sector is forecast to create a net increase of over 600,000 jobs by 2020, and the sector has made it a key priority to ensure recruitment from as wide a pool of talent as possible.

The programme is the first time employers and apprentices will be brought together, trained and networked in this way, as part of the Government’s strategy to help employers bridge skills gaps and grow the UK economy.

Vic Grimes, Divisional Apprenticeships Director National Apprenticeship Service

"The London Professional Apprenticeship programme is an excellent opportunity offering talented young people in London a career path into the professional business service sector and for businesses, particularly SMEs, to grow their future workforce.  The National Apprenticeship Service is impressed by PwC's ambitious targets and we look forward to supporting them through our Apprenticeship services".

A recruitment drive aimed at apprentices will begin in the New Year, and more businesses will be encouraged to employ apprentices through the LPA. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will be a particular target, as currently only five per cent of SMEs in London employ an apprentice.

Notes to Editors:

To interview PwC’s team, or a PwC apprentice, please contact [email protected] or [email protected]

  1. BIS is funding the LPA programme with £1.4 million from the Olympic Legacy Budget, and the programme will be focused on the six Olympic growth boroughs:
    1. Barking and Dagenham
    2. Greenwich
    3. Hackney
    4. Newham
    5. Tower Hamlets
    6. Waltham Forest

 2. BIS is providing funding for design, set up and early implementation of the LPA programme to the end of this financial year. PwC will fund ongoing costs (training and networking events, mentoring and a ‘graduation’ ceremony).

 3. Apprenticeships are at the heart of the Government's drive to equip people with the skills employers need to grow and compete. They are paid jobs combined with training, vocational and technical learning, and broad transferable skills.

 4. Firms in the PBS sector, such as PwC, have begun opening up alternative routes for non-graduates through Higher Apprenticeships to build a career, widening access to training and career opportunities in the sector. PwC currently employs 130 Higher Apprentices.


Rowena Mearley


PwC | Senior Manager - Media Relations
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