Before Barclays, I served in the British Army as a Corporal – a Chef in charge of catering within both the sergeants’ and officers’ messes. I’d joined the Army at 16, and I completed almost 18 years, before being medically discharged in 2015. After being injured, I knew that career was over, and I would have to start looking for a new one.
Luckily for me, Barclays’ AFTER programme is designed to help ex-members of the Armed Forces find work within the civilian world. At one of the AFTER meetings, I found out about the Apprenticeship programmes, and I was interested immediately. This was the chance to use my skills and gain new qualifications.
I hadn’t had a job interview since I was 16, so I was pretty nervous. I remember wondering why they’d want me over someone younger. I wasn’t even sure my skills were transferable to banking. But as the process went on, the staff worked to build my confidence, and I started to realise I had a lot to offer.
The Higher Apprenticeship has obviously been a big change for me. After almost 18 years in the military, I’ve had to adopt my style to the civilian world. But my team and my management couldn’t be better or more experienced when it comes to guiding me in that. I’m loving every challenge that comes my way.
Stephen, Higher Apprentice