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Gig employment may be the norm in a project-based assignment, but it is not the norm for the audit practice.
To ease the workload of our client-facing teams during the audit peak season, we piloted a seasonal workforce model in 2015 with a team of five aspiring accountants who were offered employment on a five-month fixed-term contract. This arrangement gives these aspiring accountants the opportunity to explore a career in audit before fully committing themselves to a career as an auditor.
Based on positive feedback from our audit teams, we increased the programme intake. In FY18 and FY19, we hired 185 people through this programme. 88% of the 2018 and 2019 cohort joined us as permanent staff. The seasonal workforce has now become our new resourcing model.
The Earn While You Learn (EWYL) programme provides non-graduates (diploma holders or equivalent) who join us as Trainee Associates (TA) a chance to gain experience by working while also studying for their professional qualifications.
This programme impacts young adults who are financially challenged in continuing their studies by improving their quality of life and their future prospects. In addition to providing permanent employment, the programme supports them in obtaining their professional qualifications via sponsorship and coaching on-the-job.
The programme began in 2012 with 21 people. It expanded in 2018 to what is now the Nexus programme based in Ipoh, and we now have 90 people working there. They support PwC audit teams working across Malaysia by completing administrative tasks such as casting checks on financial statements and performing bank and debtors confirmations.
Since 2012, the pioneer batch of 21 has “graduated” to become full-fledged Associates in 2014 with 13 qualifying as Chartered Accountants. Some are now Managers.
“The programme has offered me many opportunities to learn and grow that would not have been available to me had I not joined the programme. It has helped me out financially as I get to earn a living, not just for myself, but for my family too. And I can study part time!”
“After a year’s experience in PwC, I realised that there is a lot to learn and there are many areas to explore within the firm. I've set my goal to pass ACCA and be promoted to the next level. What's great is that I get help, both my performance on the job and studies are being monitored and I'm guided by manager and coach to ensure that I’m always on track”
"I've benefited from the Career Comeback Programme because it has helped me rebuild my network and career."
PwC is a strong advocate of women who are keen to return to the workforce. We actively participate in the Career Comeback Programme by TalentCorp and the Women Returnee programme championed by the Malaysian chapter of "Lean In"1.
Since the inception of the Career Comeback programme in 2015, PwC Malaysia has recruited 19 women returnees. We have also tapped on this talent pool to pilot a career comeback programme of our own with five part-timers, providing them with the relevant experience and exposure to help them transition back into the workforce after a career break.
1 Lean In Malaysia champions the #leanin movement in Asia, seeking to empower women to pursue their ambitions.