Work-based learning key to future proofing Scottish people and businesses

David Brown, Head of Government and Public Sector for PwC, and Chair of the Symposium 2018 on the benefits of on the job learning, and PwC’s own commitment to apprenticeships.

We all know that apprenticeships can be good for your career, but what is lesser know is that being an apprentice is also good for your health and wellbeing.

A recent survey by Skills Development Scotland shows that work-based learning leads to a happier life as well as being a proven route to career progression.

At PwC we recognise those benefits ourselves, not only for the individuals but also for our business, which is one of the reasons why I am so delighted to be chairing the Centre for Work-based Learning symposium on future skills.

Our people are our number one asset. Opportunities for our staff to grow as individuals, to build lasting relationships and make an impact means everything to us.

And we’re proud, based on the opportunities we offer the workers of the future, that students have voted us the number one Graduate Employer in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers survey in each of the last 15 years.

But the way in which we recruit staff is evolving, and the reality is it must change and change quickly to cope with the speed and volatile nature of the world we now live in.

Work-based learning offers is one solution offering new opportunities, both for individuals and companies, and we strongly believe it will make PwC a better business. Technology is also playing an increasingly important role in what we do as a firm, so it therefore plays an increasingly important role in our recruitment process.

This is what led us to launch Scotland’s first ever Data Science Graduate Apprenticeship. The Graduate Apprenticeship blends traditional university experience with learning on the job, tailored course content, great job prospects and a salary from day one.

A total of 17 graduates joined is this year at the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews in what we consider to be pioneering work-based learning. And we’re confident that the success of the scheme will only see those numbers increase in future years, with further universities becoming new partners.

But much still needs to be done by us at PwC - and others -  to spread the word about the real potential of work-based learning, and to make sure the right policies and educational (and business) ecosystems are put in place to allow new ways of learning to flourish.

The world of work is changing, and to thrive businesses need resilient employees equipped with the right skills and knowledge. The CWBL symposium aims to discuss and debate how best to deliver that for the benefit of Scotland’s economy, and our wider society.

It promises to be an exceptional and thought-provoking event. If you can’t make it along in person, make sure you join the live stream so you can join in the conversion about the future of skills in Scotland.

Find out more about our 2018 Symposium, Skills 4.0: Work-based Learning for a #HumanFuture.


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