Jasper Jolly reports that UK accounting firms Deloitte and PwC are stepping up to address the communication and teamwork skills gap among recent graduates who have been affected by remote learning during Covid lockdowns.
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But can additional training provided by these firms truly help bridge this growing skills gap caused by the pandemic?
- Deloitte and PwC are offering extra training to help Covid-era graduates improve communication and teamwork skills.
- Remote learning during lockdowns caused students to miss out on face-to-face interactions, leading to skills gaps and mental health issues.
- PwC is providing more coaching for junior staff, while Deloitte focuses on presentations and professional networking in their new training programs.
- PwC encourages senior staff to involve juniors in tasks and projects, and offers additional guidance for graduate scheme applicants.
Deloitte and PwC, two of the UK’s big four accounting firms, have recognized a communication and teamwork skills gap among newer recruits who underwent remote education during Covid lockdowns. To combat this issue, these firms are implementing extra training. The focus of it is on face-to-face presentations and active participation in in-person meetings.
University education faced significant disruption during the coronavirus lockdowns. As a consequence, it severely limited students’ opportunities for face-to-face learning, socializing, and skill development. This not only took a toll on students’ mental health but also left them with noticeable skills gaps. The big four accounting firms, which include EY and KPMG, run extensive graduate recruitment schemes that annually hire thousands of university students after graduations.
In response to this problem, PwC is taking the initiative to increase coaching for junior staff members. The firm is allowing senior managers to coach full-time on a secondment basis. The initial trials of this approach have yielded positive feedback. This way the firm considers expanding the program to more departments. Ian Elliott, Chief People Officer at PwC UK, pointed out that students who missed out on face-to-face activities during Covid may excel at working independently. Howeve, they lack confidence in presenting to groups or collaborating with others.
Meanwhile, Deloitte has found that recent recruits have had less experience working in an office environment compared to their predecessors. Such statistics is voiced according to a report by the Financial Times. Jackie Henry, Deloitte’s UK Managing Partner for People and Purpose, has observed a growing trend of younger workers seeking to delay professional exams due to stress. As a result, Deloitte has introduced a new induction program and additional training. Potentially, it should cover conducting presentations and building professional networks.
PwC has launched another initiative that encourages senior partners and directors to actively involve junior staff in various tasks and projects. This initiative also aims to provide more guidance and support to those applying for the company’s graduate schemes.
Deloitte and PwC are taking action to address the communication and teamwork skills gap among Covid-era graduates by offering additional training programs. The are focused on face-to-face presentations and in-person meeting participation. These initiatives aim to help graduates adapt to professional environments that have been heavily impacted by remote learning during the pandemic.
What skills gap have Deloitte and PwC identified among Covid-era graduates?
Deloitte and PwC have identified a communication and teamwork skills gap among recent graduates who experienced remote education during Covid lockdowns. This has led to challenges in areas such as face-to-face presentations and in-person meeting participation.
What steps are Deloitte and PwC taking to address this skills gap?
Both Deloitte and PwC are offering additional training programs to help bridge this skills gap. PwC is increasing coaching for junior staff with senior managers providing coaching on a full-time basis, while Deloitte has introduced a new induction program and additional training focused on presentations and professional networking.
How have Covid-era graduates been affected by remote learning?
Remote learning during Covid lockdowns has limited students’ opportunities for face-to-face learning, socializing, and skill development. This has resulted in a skills gap, particularly in communication and teamwork, as well as affecting students’ mental health.
What other support are accounting firms offering to recent graduates?
In addition to the extra training programs, PwC has launched an initiative that encourages senior partners and directors to actively involve junior staff in various tasks and projects. This initiative also aims to provide more guidance and support to those applying for the company’s graduate schemes.
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