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Foundation to Advanced Apprenticeship

Anyone can be a Foundation Apprentice. Whether you’re 18, 24 or 65. A parent, a school leaver, ex-military, unemployed. Whoever you are, whatever your life stage, as long as you’re over the age of 16 this programme is the chance to move forward and achieve your ambitions - first on our Foundation programme and then as you move onto an Advanced Apprenticeship. No qualifications necessary. All we look for is energy, initiative, positivity. In a word, potential. We’ve become experts at identifying it, and we know how to help it grow.

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?

Throughout your time on the Foundation programme (and then on the Advanced programme), you’ll benefit from focused 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 three key areas, depending on what we need and where we think you’ll learn best. Those areas are:

  • Our branch network, where you’ll work as an Essential Banker, helping customers with everyday banking needs.
  • Our Skybranch and Contact Centres, where you’ll act as a customer advisor over the phone.
  • Back office support, where you’ll take on an administrative role in one of our offices across the UK.

Where will I be based

As mentioned above, there are lots of different roles on offer on the Foundation Apprenticeship, so where you’ll be based will depend both on your preferences and on the kind of role we put you into. Here are some notes on each area to help you:

If you’re based in our branch network or in back office support, you’ll be in a bank branch or one of our various offices, so opportunities will pop up around the UK, and it all depends on where you’d consider working and what’s available when you apply. It’s important here that you think about what’s practical for you – how far could you feasibly commute, or how far are you willing to move, if at all? If there are no current opportunities that suit you, you’ll be asked to include your postcode, and we’ll contact you to discuss current opportunities or to alert you when something comes up.  

If you’re based in our Skybranch or our contact centres, you’ll be based in Liverpool, Sunderland or Glasgow.

How is my programme structured?

Our Foundation Apprenticeship is the start of a two-step programme (lasting a max of 3 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.

You’ll notice we said two-step and the reason for that is simple. You’ll take on up to 18 months at Foundation level, and if you pass your assessments, then you’ll automatically move into up to 18 months at Advanced level as part of the programme.

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.

If you’re in our branch network, our Skybranch or our contact centres (see ‘What will I do?’ for more on that) then from day one, you’ll also be studying for the London Institute of Banking & Finance Level 2 Certificate in Retail Banking Conduct of Business. The qualification is delivered by one of our training partners; either Knowledgepool or Agilisys Arch.

If you’re in a back office support role (again, see ‘What will I do?’ for more on this) then you’ll be studying for a professional qualification in Business Administration, again delivered by either Knowledgepool or Agilisys Arch.  

Either way, you’ll be taking on different units of learning, studying on your own with support from your Talent Coach. Each module will be delivered online, and might include subjects like customer service, health and safety, or customer complaints – all dependent on your role.

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 as an Essential Banker, Customer Advisor or in a back office support role. 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, usually at about the twelve-month mark, 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.

At this point, we’ll prepare you for a final discussion with an independent assessor. They’ll talk with you about everything you’ve learned, about what you want to do next, and they’ll give us their unbiased opinion about whether you’re ready to graduate to the Advanced Apprenticeship, or whether you still need a few more months to finish the programme.

Move onto the Advanced Programme and the structure is basically exactly what you’ve been doing so far. The difference is that now, you’ll be studying for a higher qualification, with more in depth modules. The way you’ll handle the work stays the same though, as does your support from us, and again, it takes 12-18 months. Altogether, that means its possible that both Foundation and Advanced could take you anywhere between 2-3 years, depending on your pace and what suits you best.  

Who thrives here?

Absolutely anyone with the will to succeed with us. Whether this is your first job out of school or your last before you retire, you’re welcome here. There are no qualifications you need. No experiences we ask for. It’s just about your attitude. If you’re positive about learning something new, ready to take on a challenge, and committed to working hard, that’s all we ask.

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.

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. Below is just one path you might take:

Foundation

You’ll spend up to 18 months 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.

Advanced

Pass your Foundation level assessments to move automatically into an Advanced Apprenticeship – up to 18 months of more specialist roles and qualifications. You can only become an Advanced Apprentice if you’ve completed Foundation.

Higher

After your Advanced Apprenticeship, you might take a permanent role or apply for our Higher programme – a course of 3-4 years, gaining degree level qualifications.

Traineeship

If you start with a traineeship, you’ll complete the programme, gain core workplace skills, then interview for a Foundation Apprenticeship. Not everyone needs to complete this stage.

Foundation

You’ll spend up to 18 months 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.

Advanced

Pass your Foundation level assessments to move automatically into an Advanced Apprenticeship – up to 18 months of more specialist roles and qualifications. You can only become an Advanced Apprentice if you’ve completed Foundation.

Higher

After your Advanced Apprenticeship, you might take a permanent role or apply for our Higher programme – a course of 3-4 years, gaining degree level qualifications.

Traineeship

If you start with a traineeship, you’ll complete the programme, gain core workplace skills, then interview for a Foundation Apprenticeship. Not everyone needs to complete this stage.

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:

FAQS

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