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PricewaterhouseCoopers' spring graduate intake is its largest ever

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has competed its largest-ever graduate spring intake as part of a drive to hire 1,000 new staff during 2010.

A total of 153 graduates have joined the accountancy firm as trainees in tax and assurance, while 30 new recruits have joined the firm's growing management and strategy consulting teams.  

Application rates to the firm's spring intake increased by 88% between 2009 and 2010, attracting over 2,000 applications. The huge rise is largely due to management consulting vacancies being open in spring for the first time, with 40% applying for 30 management consulting roles in this intake.

Sonja Stockton, head of recruitment at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said: "We've increased the spring intake to accelerate graduates into growing areas of the business. The continued demand and interest in our roles from students and graduates alike shows no signs of tailing off, because they realise that when they join PwC, they are joining a university of business.

"The level of training, investment and support we give them, the quality of work, and the variety of career opportunities it opens up means we're becoming a hot house for UK business talent.

"Talented, enterprising people matching academic achievement with a confidence in their skills, an ability to learn and contribute are always in demand by our business, and mean the war for talent, for employers and recruiters alike is still very much alive."

Two out of three applicants studied science, the arts and engineering. But the intake also includes those who have taken time out to travel or change careers, demonstrating the renewed appeal of professional services to graduates and students alike.

Of the spring intake 66% studied subjects not traditionally associated with accountancy, including humanities, languages, law and sciences, 76% join London offices, over a third (36%) are from an ethnic minority, a 10% increase on the spring intake last year and 34% are over 25 years old, compared with 31% last year and 18% in 2008.

Competition for remaining places in the firm's A-level entry scheme in August and graduate entry schemes in September and October remains very strong, further extending the record 48% increase in applications last year, which resulted in 18,000 applications to the firm.