Case Study

Higher Apprenticeship program – an innovative way to earn and learn at PwC.

PwC was looking to grow the diversity of their talent pool, allowing new recruits an opportunity to enter a professional services firm as trainees completing Certificate IV and Diploma qualifications in Information Technology and Business.


PwC Australia

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PwC were investigating alternate pathways into their graduate program. They wanted to break the mould of recruiting graduates post completion of a university degree and so created a Higher Apprenticeship Program in 2020 in partnership with Chisholm Institute.

The Higher Apprenticeship Program is open to high school graduates who hold a HSC, VCE, VCAL or equivalent.

The program is a career development opportunity to build a foundation of skills in business and technology while receiving coaching and mentoring with a dedicated PwC Team Lead.

The challenge

PwC were looking for a training partner that could custom design a training solution that would allow students to receive qualifications in a Certificate IV in either Business or Information Technology and that would then pathway students into Diploma of Business or Diploma of Information Technology.

Bavita Gupta, Information Technology Education Manager at Chisholm said, “PwC wanted to offer training to students so they could study together as a group for a period of two years and do a traineeship and learn at the same time.”

PwC were seeking a tailored solution that was focused on capacity building and skills development in business and technology.

The unique component of the training is that the students learnt together as a group for the entirety of the program to ensure collaboration. Students could then apply everything they were learning through the Chisholm program back into PwC during their work placements which took place four days of the week.

The solution

PwC approached Chisholm to design the fit-for-purpose learning program. Chisholm created a dedicated delivery plan that was fit for groups, versus the traditional one student to one teacher model. They brought on board dedicated teachers for consistency, allowing relationships to be built over time with both the students and the PwC team.

Bavita said, “We tailored the learning plan to ensure it matched the practical work the students would be undertaking at PwC.”

One example is the use of NetLab, an online training program that has IT environments available in browsers.

Bavita explains, “The use of NetLab benefits all parties. Students benefit as they are given access to the latest technologies across all areas of IT. For the teachers, it is streamlined and efficient, saving hours of work. For PwC, the lab simulation is a replication of the industry-leading work they conduct for their clients and the skills learned can be applied on-the-job immediately.”

The result

The Higher Apprentice Program is a success. It is now in its third year of operation and has expanded to students in both Melbourne and Sydney meaning students are earning and learning across multiple PwC locations.

Bavita says, “The students have been coached by experts in their field. They learn in a hands-on environment forming relationships that set them apart while tackling varied and challenging work.”

In 2022, 90 per cent of the Higher Apprentices were offered graduate roles at PwC to allow them to further their studies, and at the same time continuing to build their technical and soft skills whilst gaining work experience in professional services and exposure to the PwC culture.

For PwC this translates to a talent pool that have been indoctrinated into their culture and ways of working.

An alumnus of the program, Annalyse Palladini, is now in the Graduate Program at PwC in their digital technology services team.

She was a finalist for the Trainee of the Year in the 2022 Chisholm Education Awards.

Annalyse says, “It was great to get training through Chisholm while doing hands-on work with my team. It really helped set me up for success.”

Watch our PwC and Chisholm video

To learn more, contact an Industry Specialist.