Banking on Success: Barclays and the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship

07 March 2017 -


Barclays is just one of the top employers using the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship to secure and develop new and existing talent within their organisation. It’s used the apprenticeship model to provide development pathways and career progression for its staff.

Barclays’ apprenticeship programmes

Barclays set up an entry-level apprenticeship programme in 2012 because it wanted to become more inclusive as an organisation and to tackle youth unemployment. At the time it was also running a sponsored degree programme in conjunction with Anglia Ruskin University. In 2015, it combined these programmes in a degree apprenticeship.

“By launching our degree apprenticeship programme, we brought together our whole suite of entry-level programmes that we created in 2012 together with our degree programme,” said Mike Thompson, Head of Barclays’ Apprenticeship Programme. “We wanted to create something that would initially give young people but, more recently, a much broader audience a pathway to the more senior parts of our business.”

Tailoring the programme

Barclays’ degree apprenticeship is a very tailored programme because all tasks that the apprentices complete relate to the bank’s own business. Giving an example, Thompson said: One of our undergraduates recently undertook a research project to look at diversity in Barclays and she produced a paper. The Head of Diversity Inclusion at Barclays liked it so much that he hired her. So now she has a full-time job developing our products and services to make them more accessible to our customers and to make us a more diverse organisation.”

Benefits for apprentices

Last year around 50 individuals were following the Barclays’ degree apprenticeship programme. The great benefit of the programme, Thompson said, is it gives people “rich, on-the-job experiences that they can’t get simply going through the normal university pathway”. Barclays makes a point of dropping its apprentices in at the deep end, Thompson noted, adding: “It’s very, very difficult to replicate the experiences that you get in the workplace in the classroom. Every day these individuals are learning how to lead people.”

Ongoing benefits for Barclays

Barclays is reaping the benefits of its education programmes, with some of its apprentices having already progressed to very senior roles within the organisation. “We’re hugely supportive of the degree apprenticeship model,” said Thompson.

Barclays is currently focused on working out how it can use the apprenticeship allowance to best effect. “Historically we’ve focused on new recruits into our organisation,” he explained. “Now we’re looking to invest our levy allowance back into our existing workforce.”

Find out more about the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship

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