The launch of the UK’s first degree-level trailblazer apprenticeship programme is “an exciting development which adds further credibility to apprenticeships as a valuable route into a successful career”, suggested Mike Thompson, head of employability and early careers at Barclays. “Creating new apprenticeship opportunities in financial services is crucial to growing and nurturing young talent in our industry and we are keen to share our insights from the 2,000 apprentices we’ve already hired.”
With this in mind, the bank has led a group of financial services companies in creating the standard for the first trailblazers relationship management apprenticeship. Its ten recruits will work with teams across Barclays, including in its corporate bank, wealth and investment management division and – in another first for any apprentice at Barclays – in the investment bank.
The bank’s foray into apprenticeship is no surprise. To date, Barclays’ LifeSkills programme has helped nearly 900 young people into apprenticeships and traineeships with local SMEs. The company has also announced that 800 apprentice opportunities will be made available this year, expanding its programme into areas including operations, technology and mortgages.
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It has also been suggested a second wave of trailblazer apprentices will be recruited in the autumn and that Barclays is also due to set the standards for the first trailblazer apprenticeships in HR.
The newly-enforced relationship management apprenticeship will focus on developing the skills required to manage a portfolio of larger corporate, small business or private clients. The apprentices will also learn about the local market and sector in which their clients operate; the range of financial products and services available to support them and how to build and manage relationships that will lead to long-term partnerships.
Skills minister Nick Boles said: “As Barclays new recruits show, whether its financial markets or fashion houses, an apprenticeship really can take you anywhere. There have been more than two million apprenticeships started since 2010, and with leading employers such as Barclays playing a key role in their design we can ensure apprenticeships meet the needs of business, our economy and young people.”
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