Foundation Apprenticeship

As the name suggests, our Foundation Apprenticeship is all about giving you the foundation to build a trailblazing career at Barclays. It's a chance to move forward and achieve your ambitions - at any point in your life. As a Foundation Apprentice, you'll take on a role in one of our business areas (we'll tell you more about that later) and work towards professional qualifications. All with constant support and plenty of personalised training.

Applications are now open for our Foundation programmes – click below to apply.  

Apply now

About the programme

You might be asking what exactly is involved in our Foundation Apprenticeship. Click the options below to find out everything you need to know:

What will I do?

First things first: this apprenticeship lasts up to two years. In this time, you'll have plenty of on-the-job development, taking on fulfilling roles and studying towards recognised qualifications.

But what kind of roles are we talking about? You can’t apply directly for a specific kind of role on this programme, but you’re likely to end up in one of the below key areas, depending on what we need and where we think you’ll learn best. Those areas are:

  • Operations, where your data-driven observations could completely transform the way we work, what we offer and the technology we use. Click here to read more about Operations at Barclays.
  • Technology, where you could create the next big innovation in FinTech. To read more about our Technology programmes click here.

Where will I be based?

As mentioned above, there are lots of different roles on offer on the Foundation Apprenticeship, and we have opportunities available in several locations:

If you join Operations, you'll be based in Manchester or Northampton

If you join Technology, you'll be based in London, Northampton or Radbroke Hall in Knutsford. 

How is my programme structured?

Our Foundation Apprenticeship is the start of a programme (lasting a maximum of 2 years) that will build your skills and set you on the path to becoming a fully-fledged professional. You’ll gain professional qualifications equivalent to two A Levels, and you’ll even be a full-time employee from day one, which means you don’t have to apply for a job with us at the end: you’ll already have one.

So how does it all begin? Well, you’ll start as you mean to go on - with the full support of your Talent Coach. They’ll meet you and talk through the ins and outs of the programme. Throughout your first month, they’ll check in with you frequently to make sure you’re settling in well, and those one-to-one chats will continue throughout your programme.   

It’s worth noting here that if you don’t have GCSE Maths and English (or an equivalent) then we’ll start giving you support in Maths and English at this point. Don’t be intimidated though: even if this has never been a strength for you before, we’ll bring understanding and patience to help you gain communication skills and learn to work with numbers, geometry and statistics.

As you go, you’ll be assessed on what you’re learning through multiple choice tests. Again, we’ll support you in each of these, so don’t worry. Even if you don’t pass an exam on your first go, we’ll always be behind you to help you try again.

At the same time, you’ll also be working in your Barclays role, and through that practical work, you’ll also be learning new things every day. As you work, you’ll have various skills, behaviours and knowledge topics to work through, with plenty of guidance from your manager and your team.  

You’ll learn alongside the people you’ll be working with day-to-day – getting the same professional training as they do. You’ll even benefit from one-to-one training and tuition, and have dedicated mentors (both inside and outside of Barclays) to turn to for advice and guidance.

We’ll support you with both your work and your studies, with time set aside at work for you to complete your assignments. Our training is going digital (just like our customers), so we’ve developed a new e-learning platform you can access on the go, for help in your studies. We’ll also sign you up for the Digital Driving Licence - an innovative virtual way to learn new skills to then inspire our customers and colleagues.

Towards the end of your Foundation Apprenticeship we’ll put together a portfolio of evidence that you’re ready to move forward. That will include observations about your progress from your manager and your Talent Coach; statements from you about what you’ve learned; customer comments; a copy of the Personal Development Plan you’ve set with your manager, and chats with both you and your team about your knowledge.

How will I develop?

There are lots of misconceptions about career development for apprentices. People say that these opportunities are just a short-term one-time thing, or that there aren’t any prospects to them. But they couldn’t be more wrong when it comes to our programme.

First of all, even from day one, you’re officially a full-time Barclays employee, so you don’t have to apply for a job at the end of the programme. Pass your Apprenticeship and there’s a role already set aside for you if you want to take it.

That aside though, you have lots of other options too. The Foundation Apprenticeship is just one step in your journey – and it’s one that could lead to university degrees, to permanent positions, or even to our graduate programme, depending on what you want to do.

It’s an incredible journey to undertake. Like all our Foundation Apprentices, you’ll come a long way over the course of the programme – and it’s up to you where you’ll go next with us, as you’ll discover in the next section.

What do I need?

Some of our programmes have minimum entry requirements, others don't. Here's exactly what you need for each Foundation Apprenticeship:

  • For roles in Operations and Technology, you need five GCSEs at A*-C (9-5) including Maths and English (or equivalent)

Who thrives here?

Inquisitive, conscientious and raring to go - that's you. You're ready to discover new things, about yourself and within your role. To us, it all comes down to your attitude, commitment and will to succeed. Think of it this way: whether the apprenticeship is your first job out of school or your last before you retire, you're welcome here. 

A career that builds

You’re not just signing up to some one-off training here - this apprenticeship opens the door to so many possibilities.


You’ll spend up to 2 years at Foundation level, learning on the job and studying toward new qualifications – all with the support of your manager and mentors. Then, when you’ve passed your exams, it’s time to move upwards.


Then if you want to move onto our Higher programme, you'll work towards a degree or professional qualification, all while gaining hands-on experience in your chosen business area.


You’ll spend up to 2 years at Foundation level, learning on the job and studying toward new qualifications – all with the support of your manager and mentors. Then, when you’ve passed your exams, it’s time to move upwards.


Then if you want to move onto our Higher programme, you'll work towards a degree or professional qualification, all while gaining hands-on experience in your chosen business area.

Meet Shannon

My current manager has regular catch ups with me to see how I’m getting on, and sometimes I think he has more belief in me than I do! I’ve always got someone looking out for me, making sure I’ve got time to study and putting me up for opportunities.

Before I started at Barclays, I was studying Performance and Media Studies at college – and I was also trying to balance that with weekend jobs. I’d been looking around, but I hadn’t really found a company where I could see myself in a full-time career.

Then I heard about Barclays and the Foundation Apprenticeship. The bank had a strong reputation, and I knew that if I worked really hard, there would be plenty of opportunities there for me. I’d be able to move from one programme into the next, and make my way wherever I wanted to go. Now that I’m moving through the bank, that’s proved to be more accurate than I could have guessed. 

One stand-out moment for me is definitely when I became a Team Leader – particularly because I was only 20 at the time. I think that’s really down to my own Team Leader - she supported me throughout my programme, and I learned so much both from her and from the team around me.

There’s genuinely no other company I know who would invest so much time and money in the future leaders of their business. The kind of support on offer makes sure we’re leading the way for our teams – and it feels like real faith in us as individuals too.

Shannon, former Foundation Apprentice and current Higher Apprentice

Meet more Foundation Apprentices

You’ve got the facts, but what could your day-to-day really look like with us? Hear it straight from our current apprentices:


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