Apprentices - not what you think?

Or, perhaps more accurately, they may not be who you think. There’s no such thing as the average apprentice at Barclays. It’s people of all ages. All backgrounds. Internal colleagues and external candidates alike.

Did you know, for instance, that as well as getting your own apprentice, you can also recommend internal colleagues for an apprenticeship? If you see someone talented who could use a new challenge, just tell them about us. It’s a simple step for you, but one that could make a big difference – not just for your colleague, but for our bank.

Why have an apprentice?

It helps us build a loyal talent pipeline
In 2012, we were struggling with a high turnover of entry-level talent. Apprenticeships have helped us turn things around. Now, instead of paying expensive contractors, we’re retaining the talent of the future – training them as everything from Branch Managers to Internal Auditors.
It fuels our core ambition
We only grow when society does. That’s why Barclays’ core ambition is to create Shared Growth – growth that benefits not just us but our community. Apprenticeships help us achieve that, by opening doors for diverse parts of society – making our teams more diverse too.
It helps colleagues grow their skills
Your apprentice might not be a brand new face. They might be a current colleague working to move upwards in the business. Some of our current apprentices are former Moment Bankers, looking to take their next step after five or even ten years with us.
It drives our global reputation
Our programmes are award-winning, and they’re setting a standard for others to follow. The work we do is commended by everyone from the Department of Education to the Department of Business to the Social Mobility State of the Nation Report. So you’ll be part of something that builds customer satisfaction, makes us a business role model, and helps us stay a leading bank for everyone.

The programmes available

There are two main ways into apprenticeships – Foundation at entry level, and Higher for internal colleagues and more experienced external candidates. If you work in Technology though, those two programmes work a little differently, so if that’s the area you’re interested in, take a look at the specifics of the Technology Foundation and Higher programmes.

Meet joe foundation programme card image

Foundation to Advanced

Foundation, leading to Advanced, is a two-step three-year programme, designed for those with little to no experience – or those who’ve been out of work for a long time.

The facts:

  • First 18~ months at Foundation level
  • Next 18~ months at Advanced level, if you pass your final Foundation assessment
  • Pre-interview Traineeship where necessary
  • Working in entry-level roles across the bank
Education level

No qualifications required

Meet joe higher programme card image


Our Higher programme is the chance for internal colleagues and more experienced external candidates to study for degrees and professional qualifications, while training as a specialist.

The facts:

  • 3-4 years of specialist training, depending on the programme
  • Programmes available in Group Finance, Internal Audit, Risk, Relationship Management, Leadership & Management
Education level

A year’s work experience at Barclays or elsewhere, or at least 80 UCAS points (or 200 pre-2017)

Meet joe tech foundation programme card image

Technology - Foundation

The Technology Foundation Apprenticeship is the chance to learn within a sector that’s growing day by day. 

The facts:

  • No traineeship
  • 2 years of training, studying towards IT qualifications
  • Joining a permanent role from day one

Education level

Five GCSEs (or equivalent) at C or above, including Maths and English

Meet joe tech higher programme card image

Technology - Higher

For candidates with slightly more experience and a passion for a career in technology, we suggest the Technology Higher; something a little different from our other Higher programmes.

The facts:

  • 4 years of specialist training within a permanent role, with a promotion after two years
  • Studying towards an IT degree
Education level

3 A-Levels at BCC or above, or BBBB at Higher, including Maths or Computing

The impact our apprentices make

Our apprentices are helping meet all kinds of business needs, with untold impact. From HR to Audit to customer assistance, they’re doing work with deep value for their teams:

The difference for our managers

Having an apprentice has made a world of difference for so many of our managers. Now, they’re some of our loudest advocates – so let’s hear it straight from them:

Alison, Operations Manager

It all really started with our conversation with Early Careers. After talking to them, my colleagues and I knew this would be the perfect way forward for the Financial Operations Reconciliation team. It was the potential to develop our capacity, as well as the chance for the apprentices to develop a career within the bank. 

We’ve taken on two apprentices for now, and their enthusiasm is unbelievable. It’s what shone through in their initial interviews, but they’ve never wavered since. Honestly, their attitude has rubbed off on us as a team too.

They’ve set a very high standard for our future apprentices – and I’m already thinking ahead in that respect. I’m hoping this programme will be the way forward for new analysis roles within our team.

Alison, Operations Manager, Financial Operations Reconciliation Team

Across Barclays, we’d recently changed to an automated model, and many of our older customers were frightened of using the Assisted Service Counter and Quick Service Points. Our team needed someone mature who could show customers that our facilities were useful for people of all ages.

We definitely gained that skill in our new apprentice: he’s a font of life experience, whose can-do attitude brings a feeling of calm to the whole team. Bringing in his different outlook on life has helped our customers, but it’s also changed our team’s outlook for the better too.

I think you have to open your mind to that. We’re giving people a chance at opportunities that might otherwise have been closed to them – and you’ll often discover they’re phenomenally good at it, once they’re given the chance.

 Belinda Bull, Market Lead,Hammersmith Market

Having an apprentice isn’t just about experience – it’s about the life skills they bring. It’s about empathy. It means we can better support our customer agenda, because our apprentice can have deeper and more understanding conversations with our customers.

That’s really why I’ve always been an advocate of this programme. Because of what we can do for our customers and what we can do for these apprentices, we’re enhancing our brand. And as a forward-thinking bank, it shows that we’re willing to adopt a different, more open strategy towards recruitment.

Siobhan Reilly, Branch Manager, Notting Hill Gate

The business case for apprenticeships

The retention rate so far in 2017.
The savings we’ve made in recruitment costs, by retaining Apprenticeship talent.
The percentage of Traineeships from disadvantaged backgrounds, aiding our Shared Growth ambition.
Apprentices hired to work across all areas of the bank.
Hiring managers who’ve benefitted from new talent.
Degrees given so far on our Higher Apprenticeships.
The number of Higher Apprentices achieving degrees at 2:1 or above.
The percentage of Higher Apprentices who roll off at BA4 grade or higher, since 2012.
The percentage of Foundation Apprentices who roll off at BA3 level or above, since 2012.

Ready to find out more?

A guide to Barclays Apprenticeships

If you want to know a little more about apprenticeships themselves – who can be one, what it involves, what we ask of you – then you can watch the video or download our handy summary below.

Download the guide

Want to know more about the impact apprentices make, and the future they can have? In the video on the left and our guide below, you’ll find out about what apprentices can achieve for themselves and for the business.

Download the guide

Already know you’re interested in an apprentice, or want to know how to refer a colleague? Find out exactly what happens next, and what we’ll ask from you, in our film and PDF recruitment guide.

Download the guide

The process doesn’t stop once you’ve found your apprentice. As their manager, you and your team will help support them through each stage of their programme. Take a look at the guides for a run down of what is required at each stage and the long-running commitment involved.

Foundation FAQs

Higher FAQs