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Something to declare: an application must read

There’s something we want to mention from the start. When you apply to any Barclays Apprenticeship, there’s a standard question we ask every candidate. We call it ‘Opening Up’, and it’s your chance to tell us anything you think we should know about you.

That’s a big question with all kinds of answers. Do you have a disability or a condition you want to tell us about? Are you anxious about supporting your family? Or about how we’ll support your gender identity? Do interviews make you anxious?

Whatever it is, we want you to feel comfortable, both during the application and once you’re in role. So before you decide what to write, we wanted to talk to you about it.


Let's open up

To us, the best thing we can all do is be honest and supportive of each other. We genuinely want to help you be your whole self. Our Head of Early Careers Operations, Shaun, knows that first hand:

I suffer from two core mental health conditions: depression and General Anxiety Disorder. I wondered myself whether sharing that information would impact my chances of being shortlisted, so I kept it to myself. I also shied away from letting Barclays know I was engaged to a man.

So from the start, it felt like only part of me applied for the role. But just a few weeks in, I could see what a truly inclusive, supportive and accessible organisation we are. I was encouraged to be open – so I was. And through all the years since, I’ve only ever been supported, developed, and heard.

It’s an experience that motivates me to empower others. Be yourself. Don’t hide away from sharing what you need or who you are – because we’ll support you. We’ll connect you with mentors; make workplace adjustments. We’ll do whatever you need us to. But most importantly, we’ll listen.

Shaun Meekins, Head of Early Careers Operations
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Reasons to tell us about yourself

We know plenty of applicants will have a condition or an issue that’s part of their life that they haven’t shared with us. Maybe you don’t want to. Maybe you feel unsure about why we’re asking. Or you just don’t think it’s ‘serious’ enough to tell us. So let’s be upfront. Here are all the honest reasons why we’d encourage you to let us know anything that affects you or that you’re worried about sharing, even if you think it’s nothing important.

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We aren’t trying to trip you up
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We want as many people as possible to take on our apprenticeships – and that means you. We’re not asking so that we can rule you out: we’re asking so that we can count your talent in, and do as much as we can to help you succeed.
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We don't have a set idea of what disability means
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If you want to tell us about a condition or disability, you don’t have to be registered disabled. If it affects you, we’re here to help. It could be something physical or something mental – depression, anxiety, stress, grief. And whether you see it as a disability or not, telling us means we can support you, from application through to workplace adjustments. How? Read on.
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Telling us what you need means a better application process
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Often, we find out about someone’s circumstances after they’ve already dropped out of applying – and we know we could have helped. We don’t want that for you. If you tell us about yourself, then whether you need arrangements for a visual impairment, or whether applications affect your anxiety, we’ll get in touch straight away to see how we can help. And what’s more…
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You'll have access to a personal mentor
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Every single applicant who tells us they have a disability or condition, mental or physical, will be contacted straight away and offered a mentor within Barclays. We have plenty of people who already work here who have mental or physical conditions, and you can ask them for any help you need.
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Your information will be handled with care
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You’ll be able to fit the application experience to your needs, but no-one inside the business has to know anything you don’t want them to. If you’re successful and need workplace adjustments, we’ll make that happen sensitively. Our passport system means you can move around Barclays with an easy way to let new managers know your requirements – but no-one will know more than you want or need them to.
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We can put you in touch with all the right people
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Networks are a big part of making everyone feel welcome at Barclays. If we know in advance and it’s what you want, then even before you join, we can put you in touch with the colleagues who represent our networks, whether it’s Reach (our disability and mental health network) or one of our cultural networks.

Not convinced yet?

We know it’s not always easy to talk disability with a potential employer. It takes confidence – and that takes trust. So to show what it’s like to declare a disability here, we spoke to just some of the apprentices who’ve already done it.

Able to enable

Able to Enable is our new disability internship programme, run with leading diversity and inclusion experts Remploy. The plan is to help more people with disabilities to get into work, by providing valuable work experience that could turn into a further apprenticeship with us. We’ve just piloted the programme with a few interns, but we’ll take on many more this year. 

I have a history of mental health problems. I’ve had periods of serious depression and I became unemployed in my 50s following a nervous breakdown. But, just a few days into my internship I could see my path ahead. Barclays is here to see me succeed – and that is something really new for me.

Jonathan – former Able to Enable Intern, now a Foundation Apprentice
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