Apprenticeships In Consulting Set to Increase to Record Numbers

  • Recent poll shows 25% increase in apprentice numbers 
  • Percentage of young consultants from Russell Group universities continues to decline – down 50% in last decade 

Apprenticeships in the consulting sector are expected to increase in record numbers this year, according to the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), the trade association for management consultancy firms in the UK. The findings come ahead of National Apprenticeship Week which takes place 7-15th February and focuses on the benefits apprentices can have on individuals, businesses and local communities. The management consulting sector has consistently seen an increase in apprentices joining the industry in recent years as firms aim to bring in new and diverse talent.  

The MCA Annual Industry Report 2021 revealed that 1,200 trainees, apprentices or school leavers joined the sector, despite the pandemic, and a recent poll by the MCA of firms reveals that this figure is expected to increase by 25%. This is mainly driven by large firms who have on average 186 apprentices on programme at any given time. Recent MCA research has also shown that the consulting industry continues to be more accessible to talent from a varied mix of backgrounds. The ongoing decline of young consultants who attended a Russell Group university signals a widening of the talent pool and an increase in efforts by firms to improve social mobility. The percentage of young consultants that attended a Russell Group university has fallen by 37% since 2011, from 73%.1 

Tamzen Isacsson, Chief Executive of the Management Consultancies Association (MCA), said:  

“The consulting industry is continuing its drive to recruit diverse young talent from across the UK irrespective of whether they have a traditional degree or not and it’s encouraging to see the number apprenticeship schemes increasing. As client demand drives double digit growth the industry remains an attractive career option with world class training and development and a new independent professional accreditation the Chartered Management Consultant Award.” 


Tasmin Wall, a Degree Apprentice with MCA Member Firm, Atkins, said: 

“Throughout my apprenticeship journey, I have quickly developed my management consultancy skills, knowledge and behaviours through practical experiences. Furthering my education through an apprenticeship has allowed me to jump headfirst into the world of work and kick start my career.  

“Working in consultancy allows me to produce work, that has an effect on a national scale, with key public sector organisations to put in place a meaningful difference to the safety and security of the United Kingdom. I couldn’t recommend more kickstarting your consultancy career via an apprenticeship as, it allows you to quickly develop in a fast-paced environment, work with a diverse range of people and clients, and provide products and services that make a tangible difference to a broad audience.” 

National Apprenticeship Week 2022 is the 15th annual week-long celebration of apprenticeships. The week brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, businesses and the wider economy. The theme for National Apprenticeship Week 2022 will be ‘build the future’; reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills. 

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