PracticeConsultingEXCLUSIVE: PwC joins exodus from English ICA moving 285 students to Scots institute

EXCLUSIVE: PwC joins exodus from English ICA moving 285 students to Scots institute

PricewaterhouseCoopers has advised its new intake of trainees in the Midlands, and a majority in London, to train with the Scottish Institute, delivering another heavy blow to the English ICA and its attempts to hang on to its student base.

The firm, the biggest provider of students to the beleaguered English Institute, follows Ernst and Young in switching new students to ICAS.

Further defections could be on the cards after ICAS confirmed it would roll out new training centres south of the border later this year.

A source at PwC said it was the availability of training centres that limited the firm to encourage only those students in London and Birmingham to take the Scottish route.Further defections could be on the cards after ICAS confirmed it would roll out new training centres south of the border later this year.

PwC’s move will be viewed as another signal that the English ICA is losing out to its counterpart north of the border.

ICAS increased its annual student intake from 400 to 650 after reaching a deal to provide training to all the firm’s students at Ernst and Young from the autumn.

As part of the E & Y deal, ICAS told Accountancy Age this week that it could soon be making available courses at Bristol and Manchester – a move that could overcome PwC’s ‘practical’ problem of finding locations to train students based in offices outside of London and Birmingham – a move that could overcome PwC’s ‘practical’ problem of finding locations to train students based in offices outside London and Birmingham.

KPMG, where senior partner Dame Sheila Masters is president of the English ICA, is also encouraging all its students to opt for ICAS. However, the firm expects the majority of its graduates to remain with the English institute.

Deloitte & Touche said this week that it was continuing to review its position.PwC has signalled its support for the Scots institute by writing to September starters advising the entire Midlands intake and most of the London recruits to train with the Scottish body.

The firm says it will continue to train a majority of students with the English institute but is ‘monitoring developments’ at the two training bodies.

Rodger Hughes, head of assurance and business advisory services at PwC, said: ‘We are continuing to offer our students the opportunity to train for both qualifications but are increasing the number of places that we offer outside Scotland to train with the Scottish Institute.

‘We anticipate that around 285 students from this year’s intake will train with the Scottish Institute, representing about a third of the total.’

Firms delaying decisions on whether to ditch English ICA and follow Ernst & Young north of border

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