PwC launches program to train employees in 3D printing, blockchain and more

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a multinational consultancy firm based in London, has launched a two-year Digital Accelerator program to boost the skills of its employees. The program replaces 1,000 participants’ standard workload with “digital-heavy” client work, projects, and weekly classes focusing on subject matter such as cleansing data, blockchain – a digital ledger of transactional data, and 3D printing.

“My job is to future-proof our workforce,” explained Sarah McEneaney, Digital Talent Leader at PwC. “It just seems table stakes at this point that people should have more technology skills. It’s needed for us to remain competitive and to be responsive for what our clients are also going through.”

3D printing at the PwC facility. Photo via PwC.
3D printing at the PwC facility. Photo via PwC.

Digitizing the workload

PwC has recognized and evaluated the growing use of additive manufacturing technologies, through its previous studies Disruptive Manufacturing Innovations Survey” and the “3D Printing comes of age in US industrial manufacturing.” Adapting towards these new technologies, in 2014, PwC began integrating digital services with its clients. “Our clients are looking at how they can transform, stay relevant and frankly stay in business and attract employees,” added McEneaney.

In March of this year, PwC opened up applications for all 46,000 of its nationwide employees for participation in the program, which received 3,500 candidates. PwC then selected 1,000 employees for the program. These employees are required to spend upwards of 10 hours a week in Digital Accelerator classes and work on digital-intensive projects involving marketing and sales clients of PwC.

PwC's Blueprint for becoming a Digital Champion. Image via PwC
PwC’s Blueprint for becoming a Digital Champion. Image via PwC

The Digital Accelerator program curriculum

The Digital Accelerator program curriculum comprises three main focus areas. The first includes data and analytics, which will conduct classes on collecting and cleansing data and blockchain. The second area focuses on automation, with classes on cybersecurity, additive manufacturing, drones and Augmented Reality (AR). The third is aimed towards Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning. Employees are also required to take coding, user experience and design thinking classes which features content from these focus areas.

The majority of classes will be taught virtually in a group environment. According to McEneaney, digital skills training for PwC employees is one of the largest single investment areas for the firm this year.

Other initiatives investing the digital up-skilling of employees include the MTC’s Additive Manufacturing Competency Frameworks and courses from UK firm Added Scientific.

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Featured image shows a depiction of new digital technology integration. Image via PwC.