500 Apprentices in the bank

16 Jan 2013 12:00 GMT

Barclays has hired its 500th apprentice, marking an important milestone in the bank’s programme to help tackle youth unemployment.

The milestone was celebrated at events for the first 500 Barclays apprentices taking place in London, Coventry, Cheshire and Newcastle today. At the events Barclays apprentices discussed ways of tackling youth unemployment with senior executives and also mapped out their career plans for the future.

A further 500 apprentices will be recruited by June 2013 bringing the total to 1,000.

New figures which survey the first 500 apprentices show the real impact the programme is making by providing genuine opportunities for young people to get into work and start developing their careers through quality apprenticeships.

  • 86 per cent of Barclays apprentices were previously not in any form of Employment, Education or Training (NEET)
  • 76 per cent have come off state benefits as a result of securing a Barclays apprenticeship
  • 51 per cent had been unemployed for more than six months, with 30 per cent unemployed for more than a year
  • 37 per cent joined Barclays with fewer than five GCSEs (grade A-C) and 88 per cent had no further qualifications. As Barclays apprentices they can now retake English and Maths, as well as working towards QCFs in Financial Services.

    The success of the programme is already being demonstrated with very strong retention rates and performance ratings, significantly higher than the industry average. Barclays line managers have also praised the excellent work ethic and attitude shown by apprentices and have been impressed by their ability to relate to customers.

    Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking met with over 100 Barclays apprentices in London and said:

    “As a bank one of the best investments you can make is in your people. We’ve given 500 young people that vital first opportunity to get into work, and will support a further 500 in the coming months.

    “A year ago less than one per cent of our front-line staff were aged under 21, now we have a wide range of young people up and down the country who are rolling up their sleeves, learning the ropes and working hard for our customers. They are a real credit to Barclays.

    “Most important is not the number of apprentices but the quality of the opportunities we help inject into each individual’s career. Our ambition is for our apprentices to go on to either become senior leaders at Barclays in future, or to have rewarding careers wherever they may go. That is the real test for our programme”

    The 500th Barclays apprentice is Ross McMahon, aged 18, from Milton in Glasgow. Ross will shortly begin working in the Barclays Glasgow City Centre branch and said :

    “It took me a long time to find the job I really wanted. I was working part-time as a cashier in a kiosk and really liked building a relationship with customers. But what I really wanted was a full-time permanent job that would give me the opportunity to progress my career and take on more responsibility over time.

    “I’d never heard of an apprenticeship in a bank before as I thought it was just for joiners and electricians so I think its good there are opportunities for people with customer skills like me. I’m really looking forward to getting started, my new manager has a similar background as me and has given me a warm welcome, and I hope to go on to bigger things.”

    Regional figures show that a large proportion of apprentices are from areas of high youth unemployment where Barclays also has customer contact centres such as Wavertree, Sunderland and Coventry.

    • North West 26 per cent 130 apprentices
    • East and West Midlands 20 per cent 100 apprentices
    • London 20 per cent 100 apprentices
    • North East & Yorkshire 14 per cent 70 apprentices
    • South East 8 per cent 40 apprentices
    • East 6 per cent 30 apprentices
    • South West and Wales 5 per cent 25 apprentices

      A significant numbers of apprentices have also been recruited by working with charity partners who support young people into employment including Action for Children, Tomorrow’s People, The Prince’s Trust, Business in the Community and Mencap.

      For more information about future oppotunities - http://www.jobs.barclays.co.uk/apprenticeships/

      Notes to Editors:

      Barclays started recruiting apprentices in April 2012 under a groundbreaking programme which focuses on the quality of apprenticeship:

      • Aim to help people with no prior experience of qualifications into work
      • Provides full pay from day one of the apprenticeship equivalent to a new joiner
      • Dedicated training towards recognised qualifications and regular mentoring
      • Guaranteed permanent job for everyone who successfully completes the programme after twelve months.

      About Barclays

      Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

      With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 135,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.

      For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com.

      Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in retail banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for 48 million customers and clients worldwide.

      Press office Twitter feed: @barclaysuknews

      500 Apprentices in the bank
      500 Apprentices in the bank
      500 Apprentices in the bank