PwC has told candidates with offers to join its school and college leaver programme that their places are guaranteed even if they don’t achieve the grades previously required.
The decision was made by the firm in a bid to provide “certainty and reassurance” to the young people who had their education “disrupted” due to the Covid-19 pandemic. More than 100 students were made offers to this year’s programme.
Depending on the role, 96 -112 UCAS points are needed to join the scheme, which gives people the opportunity to “train and take professional qualifications” while earning.
Laura Hinton, chief people officer at PwC, said: “We’re very aware of the disruption caused to education by the pandemic and the additional pressure it’s put on students studying for their A-levels. By removing grades as a prerequisite for acceptance this year, we hope to provide some certainty and reassurance.”
“Given some students will have been impacted by the pandemic more than others, this year it feels fairer to guarantee entry to the programme to all students who have successfully made it through our selection process, regardless of their A-level results.”
Alongside the school and college leaver programme, PwC also works with several universities to provide apprenticeships and degrees – the Flying Start programmes – as another alternative to graduate entry.
While the universities have “strict quotas” on cohort sizes, entry requirements can be “flexed” for candidates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds by up to two grades lower than the standard requirement.