1,000th apprentice joins Barclays as 1,000 more apprenticeships are lined up for young people across the bank.
Eighty-six Percent of apprentices recruited so far were not in education, employment or training before joining the scheme; New apprenticeships have been created in corporate and investment banking, technology and digital marketing. LifeSkills Youth Barometer finds that young people underestimate how highly businesses value apprenticeships. Barclays opens the door to its 1,000th apprentice this week, just over a year since the launch of the programme. This follows a commitment earlier this year to double the figure to 2,000 by 2015, with a continued focus on specifically targeting young people aged 16-24 not in education, employment or training (NEET).
The 1,000 new apprenticeships will include roles in parts of the business that have typically focused on recruiting graduates, with 12 places in the Corporate and Investment businesses set to become available from the start of July. There will also be six roles in digital marketing and a host of opportunities in branches, customer support and technology, spread across the UK. Jack Thompson, 21 and Barclays 1,000th apprentice, joined the Croydon Branch in July. Jack commented, “I have been in and out of work since finishing college doing mostly temporary jobs. You name it, I have done it. I was always looking for something a bit more permanent but it is hard out there right now to find proper jobs, that have a real future to them.
“I found out about the Barclays apprenticeship scheme through a mate who works in the Baker Street branch as an apprentice. He loves it there and thought it would suit me. I applied through XLP who are a charity in inner London which supports young people. The interview process was relatively simple and actually quite fun. I just had to be myself really. I am really looking forward to getting started now.” Nearly nine in every ten (86 per cent) of the apprentices Barclays has recruited over the past year were NEET at the time of joining, and over a third (38 per cent) struggled at school, having fewer than four GCSEs under their belt. Over half were unemployed for more than six months prior to joining Barclays, and over a quarter more than a year. A total of 500 young people have come off benefits as a result of joining the programme.
Recent research from the LifeSkills Youth Barometer1 reveals young people underestimate the value placed on apprenticeships by employers. Less than a third (28 per cent) of 14-25 year olds think an apprenticeship is the best way to start a career and less than one in 10 (8.7 per cent) believe apprenticeships are the preferred qualification for employers. However, research carried out by ICM for the National Apprenticeship Service in April found that employers rate candidates with apprenticeship qualifications 15 per cent more employable than candidates with all other qualifications2.
Ashok Vaswani, CEO of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said: “Doubling our apprenticeship recruitment target to 2,000 is a direct reflection of how productive and valued these members of staff are. Their success and contribution to our business has encouraged us to open up new career paths through apprenticeships, so that those eager to contribute to our team have the opportunity to fulfil their full potential in more areas of our business. School results aren“t always the best reflection of a young person”s potential to excel in the workplace, so we mustn“t be afraid to invest in NEETs. By reaching out to the next generation we hope more young people will begin to realise what a great way this is to start their careers and how much businesses value apprentices.”