Breaking down barriers to work

Today, almost 1 in 5 people in the UK has some form of disability. More than half of those people, aged 18 and over, are unemployed. At the same time, nearly 1 in 3 of us is over 50 – and yet 65% of those people still experience age discrimination when it comes to employment.  

We think those kind of statistics are unacceptable, and we’re taking action to change them. We say your talent has nothing to do with your age or background. We say our potential to change our business has nothing to do with your mental or physical disability.

And we say that if you’ve got the right attitude, Barclays will always be open to you.  

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An apprentice at any age

Thanks to our Bolder initiative, every single one of our apprenticeships is now open to everyone over 18 – and we mean that in the broadest sense. There’s no upper limit, whether you’re 55 or 85. If you want to take your next step forward – if you want to return to work, change your career, learn a new skill, come out of retirement – you can do that with us.  

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. You’ll be able to find out more about that here as we launch – but for now, here’s more from one of our first intake and their manager:

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 now, just a few days
in and I can see my path ahead. Barclays is here to see me succeed – and that is something really new for me.

Jonathan – Able to Enable Intern

Jonathan’s wellbeing is very important to me. As long as there’s an open dialogue between us every day, I can structure things to meet his needs.

Siobhan, Able to Enable Mentor

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Application assistance

Our commitment to accessibility starts at the application stage. To make sure the best candidates can succeed, we do everything we can to make sure our application process is no barrier. If you have a disability, then all you need to do is tell us. As soon as you apply, we’ll assign you a mentor to support your application and make any arrangements you need.

Workplace adjustments

Trying to make managers aware of your needs can be a minefield. Sometimes it can seem too intimidating or frustrating to deal with. But at Barclays, we’re implementing the new Workplace Adjustments Passport. It’s a simple and confidential living record, designed for any colleague with a short or long-term disability or condition, including mental health. It makes sure there’s an open and sensitive conversation about what you need, even if that might change over time.

Tackling stigma in mental health

No-one should be defined by their disability or held back by it. For us, the best way to remove stigma is to talk about it together. That’s why, in our campaign ‘This is Me’, you’ll find colleagues from all over Barclays talking about their mental and physical disabilities, and the support they get from their team. That’s support you’ll find all over our bank, by the way – not just on our Apprenticeships.

Our Reach Network

You’re never alone with Barclays. Across our bank, there are plenty of groups bringing our colleagues closer together. One of the most active is our Reach Network – a group specifically for colleagues with physical or mental disabilities. Through forums, events, networking and training, the group aims to support and develop colleagues with disabilities, as well as the teams they work with.  

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