Why school leaver programmes?

Monday 3 June 2019, UCAS advice


Why school leaver programmes?


School leaver programmes give you a direct route into the world of work. They allow you to learn new skills, meet new people, and earn a wage while you’re learning. Not sure if it’s the right path for you? Ziyad, from PwC, shares his story.

Why did you choose the programme?
I’ve always wanted to work in the accounting profession. I attended university for one year, but realised it wasn’t the right path for me, so I left to join the apprenticeship programme at PwC. I saw the value in getting into the workplace sooner, and gaining practical, hands-on experience.

What have you gained from the experience so far?
I’m a qualified tax technician, and have gained practical experience in the tax profession. I’ve developed a strong tax technical background, and I’ve also significantly improved my ‘soft’ skills, such as presenting, leading, working as part of a team, and interacting with clients.

Did you have any hesitations before applying?
As I had tried the university route, and realised it wasn’t the right path for me, I had no hesitations by the time I was applying to PwC. I’ve always wanted to work at a world-class firm, so the opportunity was a no brainer for me.

What does the programme offer you in terms of career progression?
The training opportunities are fantastic. There are numerous training courses available, which are designed to help improve your technical ability, but also provide guidance on how to become a well-rounded professional. The access to this training has put me in a great position to progress in my career, and fulfil my potential.

Where are you now?
I currently work as a senior associate in the Compliance Services Team. I specialise in UK tax compliance, and focus on completing tax returns for globally-mobile individuals. I have short term aspirations of improving my consulting skills to help me progress to the next stage of becoming a manager, with a long-term focus on becoming a partner.

What would your advice be for someone considering applying for an apprenticeship?
Believe in yourself and prepare well for the application process.

Inspired by Ziyads story? Check out the school leavers programmes available at PwC.