PwC has welcomed 209 new graduates this April, the highest ever number to join through its annual Spring intake. The increase is testament to the fact that the firm has continued to maintain and increase its internship and full time graduate numbers throughout the recession and the recovery to prepare for growth.

Some 5,877 applications were received for 209 places to start in Spring, meaning that around 30 people applied for each vacancy. This amounts to a massive 446% increase in applications to the Spring entry on 2009 applications, and a 192% increase on last year.

Although the majority graduated last year, a third of this intake graduated in 2008 and 2009, demonstrating how even some of the best of those who graduated mid recession are only now entering the employment market. Soaring application levels show that PwC is an increasingly attractive option for more and more people looking to start their career, or indeed begin a new one.

Welcoming the new recruits to the firm, Ian Powell, PwC Chairman and Senior Partner, advised them to take control of their own career destiny:
“The recovery is bringing fresh opportunities and the business is growing, so maintaining and increasing the investment and value we have placed in our graduate recruitment numbers has massively paid off. The firm is not content with being number one; we are always pushing to go beyond that. We want to be in a different space to our competitors and our people are vital in achieving that. In the recession we cut back on discretionary spend and kept as many in employment as possible.”

Richard Irwin, PwC Head of Student Recruitment, said:
“PwC is committed to recruiting graduate talent with a diverse range of experience, and the firm’s Spring intake provides a compelling opportunity for students who don’t want to wait until September to commence their careers. Only a quarter of the new Spring trainees studied accounting, banking and finance degrees, while over a quarter studied science and engineering. This is just one aspect of the kind of diversity we value so highly in our graduate recruits.”

The shifting post-recession job market is forcing new graduates to make difficult choices. A considerable 31% of new trainees are over 25 while 4% are over 30, suggesting professional services is a popular choice for career changers, also possibly due to a squeeze in other industries. Applications are now open to join the firm in September 2011 and April 2012.