PwC is a top employer of business school graduates. Each year, they join the firm from schools across the globe to take on roles across functions ranging from accountancy and audit to consulting.
The planned cuts, which were first reported by the Financial Times, will primarily be felt within the firm’s advisory business, as well as the tax department—though on a smaller scale. The audit division will be exempt from layoffs, according to a source familiar with the plan.
Cuts will be felt across all employee levels below partner, with even directors at risk. They will however be concentrated among junior and mid-level roles.
PwC plans to begin the layoff period with a voluntary redundancy program, followed by compulsory cuts if too few people leave on a voluntary basis. First year staff will not be part of the redundancy scheme.
Responding to the news, PwC said in a statement: "In light of lower than normal attrition rates and subdued growth in parts of the business, we are making targeted voluntary severance offers to some of our people."
Consulting firms have encountered a fall in demand for their services in 2023, combined with rising costs and a lower number of staff resigning to take on roles elsewhere, all of which have influenced PwC's decision.
The news follows other similar announcements among the Big Four firms in the UK. Deloitte recently announced a headcount reduction in its UK practice, primarily aimed at graduate consulting roles. Earlier this year, Deloitte also deferred start dates for 2023 MBA hires until next year.
In August, EY, another of the Big Four firms, also revealed plans to cut jobs among UK staff.
Elsewhere, the prestigious MBB consulting firms, McKinsey, Bain, and Boston Consulting Group, which hire thousands of MBA and business masters graduates each year, are freezing starting salaries for new hires.