A record 118% increase in early application levels to PwC has secured over 600 jobs for students and graduates in offices across the UK.

The recruits will join the UK’s largest private sector graduate programme in March, April and September across the firm’s assurance, advisory and tax businesses.

Some 600 full time roles remain nationwide, including new consulting roles that opened in regional offices this month. The firm’s second recruitment campaign for this university year gets underway shortly, with employability skills, commercial awareness and career coaching on offer to students online, in local offices and on campus.

Richard Irwin, PwC’s head of student recruitment, said:

“We’ve seen early applications to the firm skyrocket this year because students wanted to be first in line for the jobs as soon as they were created.

“Add to that a pool of graduates from 2009 coming back to the jobs market, and more employers reviving their recruitment, means it’s a perfect storm of interest and competition for graduate jobs.

“We’ve created the largest ever number of jobs for students and graduates at the firm, so there’s plenty of opportunities remaining. Graduates applying now could be working with us as early as April.”

Applications to London and the South continue to dominate interest in the firm’s trainee positions, but with vacancies nationwide Irwin warns students not to short change their job options by focusing on London vacancies:

“You can kick start your career anywhere, so students need to make sure they’re not limiting their job prospects. Some of our biggest teams and clients are run from Manchester, Scotland, Newcastle, Reading, Bristol and Birmingham. The training, support and career opportunity is the same for all our recruits, but the cost of living can be far more realistic for graduates concerned about student debts.”

PwC opened recruitment for over 1200 graduates, 400 interns and around 70 A Level students in early October. In total, over 1600 roles have been created, representing the highest ever recruitment levels on record for the firm.