Business and Education: A Growing Partnership – A Wallace High School Perspective

Written by | Principal

I have previously raised the important issue of the increasing competition for traditional full-time undergraduate places in Northern Ireland (  This, combined with the increased fees in GB universities, has created an opportunity for businesses to entice capable young people, at 18 years of age, into work/degree programmes.

An example of one such programme is ‘Brightstart Deloitte’, Deloitte UK. Deloitte, Belfast currently employs over 400 staff across a range of services: Auditing, Consulting, Financial Advisory, Human Capital, Operations, Property Advisory, Risk, Strategy, Tax and Technology. The Brightstart Scheme in Belfast offers a small number of talented young school leavers, with A Level qualifications, a full time position and a fully paid degree with the Ulster University in ‘Business Technology’. The salary in Year 1 is £14,000 and there is a £1,500 incremental rise each year for 4 years of the 5 year undergraduate programme.

I met before Christmas with Jackie Henry, Senior Partner, Belfast to discuss the scheme and consequently invited one of her staff to come to speak to our Sixth Formers.

I am very impressed by the relevance and rigour of the Business Technology degree which Deloitte Belfast has designed in collaboration with the Ulster University. The range of industries in which Deloitte provides services is vast and the opportunities for professional development are rich and varied.

Today I have received the excellent news that three of our Upper Sixth have been successful in their Brightstart Deloitte applications. Timothee, Callum and Sarah, well done! The recruitment process is rigorous and involved assessment centre interviews and tasks, interviews and psychometric testing.

Last modified: March 7, 2017