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2:1 no longer needed to work at PwC as firm moves to increase socio-economic diversity

Graduate

ARTICLE SUMMARY

PwC, one of the UK’s largest graduate employers, has removed its 2:1 degree requirement in a bid to increase the socio-economic diversity of its workforce.

According to the Higher Education Student Statistics: UK, 2020/21, 14% of students received a lower second qualification classification and 3% of students received third class honours. By removing the 2:1 criteria over 70,000 more students a year can apply for PwC’s graduate programmes.

PwC, KPMG, Deloitte and EY all started to change the criteria for their graduate recruitment programmes seven years ago, with PwC removing UCAS points from its entry criteria. At the time, PwC said academic qualifications alone are not an indicator of workplace potential.

Recent disruptions to students’ education during Covid-19 have caused more businesses to note the extra challenges faced by students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ian Elliott, Chief People Officer at PwC, said: “Whilst academic achievement has its place, for far too many students there are other factors that influence results. Talent and potential is determined by more than academic grades and so removing the 2:1 entry requirement will open our roles to a greater pool of talent.”

“We were fortunate to have over 95,000 applications to our graduate and school leaver programmes this year. This move isn’t primarily about attracting more applications but opening our roles to students from a broader range of backgrounds, including those from lower-income households. Removing the 2:1 criteria will allow us to make real progress in driving social mobility of PwC recruits.”

“We know that competition for our graduate roles will be as tough as ever but we’re confident that our own aptitude and behavioural testing can assess a candidate’s potential.”

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