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Professional service giant Deloitte has announced plans to expand its UK consulting practice to 11,000 new hires by 2027. The efforts will build on 1,200 jobs the firm created for its British advisory wing throughout 2022.

Amid a sustained barrage of criticism in the UK, the Big Four professional services firms are coming under increasing pressure to divide their respective empires. Critics claim that the firms being able to offer business services and consulting to clients they also may be auditing is a conflict of interest, and makes their clients vulnerable to accounting black holes that have caused a number of high-profile collapses in recent years.

In response to this, several members of the Big Four have sold off notable elements of their British businesses. Looking to avert regulatory action, KPMG offloaded its pensions firm – since rebranded as the independent Isio – while EY is currently mooting the splitting of its consulting and auditing brands. And during the pandemic, Deloitte shifted its restructuring wing on, in a lucrative sale to Teneo.

Deloitte Consulting aims to break through 10,000 employees

New plans from Deloitte show that it clearly has no ambitions to emulate the likes of EY when it comes to its consulting practice, though. According to a release from the firm, it aims to take its consulting headcount past the 11,000 mark in the coming five years. The increase would see the practice boom by roughly 3,500 from its current tally of 7,500 employees.

Anne-Marie Malley, UK managing partner for consulting at Deloitte, commented, “We are committed to creating thousands of new jobs in the UK to support our clients across a raft of industries and subsectors, with at least a third of new hires coming from outside of London. We will continue to identify and invest in the UK’s best and brightest talent to solve our clients’ biggest challenges.” 

According to Malley, the expansion comes in response to spiking client demand. The rapid headcount growth will begin with a “record graduate and apprentice intake” in 2022, while in the near future, Deloitte will also deploy a combination of organic growth and acquisitions to meet its targets. This comes in addition to some 1,200 new roles created over the course of this year, and a forecasted 1,500 new roles will join that by May 2023 alone.

Deloitte’s targets have also seen it commit to a number of measures to attract top talent, but also make the most of under-used sources of labour. Last summer, for example, the firm introduced a hybrid work model, Deloitte Works, allowing its people to decide when, where and how they deliver their best work for clients. Meanwhile, the firm has also rolled out schemes such as its BrightStarts Apprenticeship programme, Black Action Plan, and Code First Girls, to continually boost diversity, and find talent from all walks of life.

Payal Vasudeva, Consulting People & Purpose Leader at Deloitte, commented, “Our aim is to lead a transformative impact for our society and our clients through our people. And we know we are at our best when we foster an inclusive culture and embrace diversity in all forms… It is thanks to this effort that we are seeing progress in the diversity of the early careers and experienced hires coming into consulting, although there is still more to be done.”

Deloitte Consulting includes Deloitte Consulting, Monitor Deloitte (the firm’s strategy consulting outfit) and Deloitte Digital (the firm’s digital, technology and creative business unit).