‘BrightStarts’ now make up over 20% of Deloitte’s Belfast workforce

Business and technology advisory firm Deloitte has revealed that employees who joined the firm through its pioneering BrightStart apprentice programme now make up approximately 20% of its total workforce in Northern Ireland.

BrightStart is a five-year professional development programme which helps young people gain an honours degree (BSc in Business Technology) through Ulster University as well as recognised professional qualifications and a job at Deloitte, working for the company’s clients across the UK.

A total of 70 apprentices will join the company through the programme in the 2018 intake, bringing the total number of young people to join the firm through BrightStart to approximately 180, roughly one fifth of its total workforce.

The announcement was made as Deloitte welcomed the latest intake of apprentices and their families to a celebration event at Ulster Rugby’s Kingspan Stadium.

The programme, which is now in its fourth year in Northern Ireland, has up to now primarily been aimed at school leavers. However, candidates were drawn from a wider demographic this year, with successful applicants including people from a range of backgrounds and ages, including some who have previously tried other educational models and worked in other jobs.

Deloitte’s senior partner in Belfast, Jackie Henry, outlined the positive impact that those who have joined through the BrightStart programme have made on the company.

She said: “It is testament to the success of the BrightStart programme that those who joined as apprentices now make up almost one fifth of our team in Belfast, working in every area of the business, from audit to human capital, tax consulting to technology.

“The BrightStarts are an invaluable part of the firm, providing a fresh approach to the way we do business. They bring new ideas to the table which enable us to look at problems from a different perspective and this elevates the offering we present to our clients.”

Judith Wylie, Course Director BSc Hons Business Technology at Ulster University said “The Ulster University Business School are delighted to strategically partner with Deloitte on the BrightStart programme.  The students are performing exceptionally well and regularly apply the knowledge and skills developed from their client facing work to their academic studies and vice versa. This dynamic learning experience is clearly developing positive synergies from working and learning through a Degree Apprenticeship programme.”

Jackie Henry added: “It is important to us that we continue to employ bright people who represent the next generation of business. We’re proud to offer an alternative route for talented individuals looking for a career with Deloitte and it is really pleasing this year that we’ve been able to broaden the demographic and place some candidates who are not immediate school leavers on the programme.

“They will be given the opportunity to advance their careers and specialise in a range of disciplines, including for the first time new roles in our expanding cloud technology team. I congratulate all of those here on being invited onto the programme.”

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