Higher Apprenticeship

Risk Higher Apprentice

Risk Higher Apprentice

Application Information


  • A balance of academic study and a real-life role in the bank
  • Learn how to protect both our bank and our customers
  • Study for industry-recognised qualifications in Risk Management

It’s rare to find a role with such an obvious impact – especially one that needs no previous experience. Our Risk teams are spread across our whole bank, from Barclays UK to our global business, and from personal to corporate banking. We’re keen analysts, and the work we do means our bank is protected and financially stable. And with our support, you’ll pick up all the skills it takes to do that – not to mention studying for degree-level professional Risk Management qualifications into the bargain.

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What do we mean when we say Risk?

We all know the word ‘risk’, but what does it mean in the context of banking? If you’re not sure what we mean, don’t worry. Here’s a brief overview of what the team does:

Monitoring our processes and systems to know what could threaten our reputation and financial performance

Looking at economic trends and current events to work out what they could mean for the future of our business

Identifying, assessing and minimising any potential financial threats for us

Advising leaders across the business on how to plan for and maintain our bank’s long-running resilience

Monitoring our processes and systems to know what could threaten our reputation and financial performance

Looking at economic trends and current events to work out what they could mean for the future of our business

Identifying, assessing and minimising any potential financial threats for us

Advising leaders across the business on how to plan for and maintain our bank’s long-running resilience

The facts of the programme

What will I do?

The Risk programme is unique in its reach: you’ll rarely find a department that works with so many other parts of our bank. Over three years, you’ll take on three roles for one year each, finding out the Risk areas that suit you best. You might be working with our Retail Banking teams to decide how much money the bank is prepared to offer through a new mortgage product. You might help Barclaycard protect its credit cards against losses and non-payment. Or you might help the Internet Fraud team balance its risks against the need for a smooth customer experience.

With all our programmes, colleagues are responsible for ensuring that all activities and duties are carried out in full compliance with regulatory requirements, Barclays Operational Risk Framework and internal Barclays Policies and Standards.

How will my programme be structured

It all starts with an induction event attended by absolutely all Higher Apprentices, whichever programme you’re on, from Risk to Internal Audit. 

Then, we’ll move into the apprenticeship itself. Over three years, we’ll keep track of your progress based on both your studies and how you’re doing in terms of practical experience. Our training will make sure that the experience you gain is as broad and useful as possible – with plenty of opportunities as you go along. Your managers, colleagues and dedicated buddy will do the same. While you’re building your experience, you’ll also study for an industry-recognised qualification from the Institute of Risk Management.

In your first year, you’ll get an introduction to all kinds of different risk, starting to build your skills. You’ll start to work towards an internal qualification here: what we call your Risk Knowledge Passport. We’ll train you for that through your work within your role, but also through an extensive range of introductory modules, including:

  • Risk Management
  • Credit Risk
  • Sanctioning
  • Business Support and Recoveries
  • Operational Risk
  • Fraud Risk
  • Financial Crime
  • Traded Market Risk
  • Non Traded Market Risk
  • Funding Risk
  • Risk Measurement
  • Risk Analytics

In your second year, you’ll start to broaden your understanding, looking in more depth at specific skills required within risk management, from risk response to assessing risk appetite. In your studies, your modules will include:

  • Concepts and definitions of risk and risk management
  • The global business environment
  • Risk Management Standard
  • Risk Strategy and framework
  • Enterprise Risk Management
  • Risk culture, conduct, appetite and tolerance
  • Risk Assessment 1 – Introduction and Identification
  • Risk and Organisations
  • Risk Assessment 2 – Risk Analysis and Evaluation
  • Risk Assurance and Reporting
  • The Commercial Environment
  • Risk Response and Treatment
  • Case Studies – Organisation Risk Management

Throughout your programme, there are various kinds of assessment we’ll use to help you test your skills and see your progress. Those include examinations, reviews with your manager, and then comes your final year.

Here, you’ll find your big chance to demonstrate everything you’ve learned. You’ll build your portfolio of work-based evidence, and you’ll work on a risk-based final project – all the while supported by your manager, tutor and team. Then at the end, you’ll have your professional presentation and discussion, led by Barclays and by an independent assessor – all of whom are there to help you do well.  

Who thrives here?

Anyone who’s willing to learn – even if you very literally don’t know anything about Risk yet. We’re looking for people with a technical brain. You’ll be a fan of spreadsheets, and you’ll enjoy getting to grips with numbers and data. That said, we’re not looking for experience – as long as sharp analytic thinking is a strength you think you have.

How will I develop?

Some of you might have heard that apprenticeships don’t lead to anything, or that you’re going to be stuck doing the tea run. That couldn’t be further from the truth at Barclays, and on the Risk Apprenticeship, we think you’ll be astonished by the kinds of career paths you could set out on.

For a start, the nature of the programme means you’re going to have the chance to explore three different areas of Risk for a year each. These rotations mean you’ll fully understand three areas, get to know three teams, and get a taste for what interests you. When it comes to applying for more senior roles at the end of the programme, you’ve got a strong idea of exactly what you want to do – and you have the network in place to support you to do it.

What’s more, Risk skills are an essential part of life across our bank, so if there’s another area you want to try, that’s open to you too. You might even move onto our graduate scheme. It’s all up to you, your experiences as you move through the programme, and where you decide you want to go next. But one thing’s for sure – you’ll never be stuck for choices.

Where will I be based?

A quick word on location. If you’re looking to join our Risk programme, the nature of the role means you’ll likely have to relocate to London if you don’t already live here. 

What are the key dates?

Early March: Applications open

Early May: Applications close

May: London assessment centres

May/June: Manchester assessment centres

June: All candidates notified of outcome

September: Higher Apprenticeships begin

Hear from someone who’s been there

We can tell you lots about our programme, but sometimes it’s easier to hear it straight from someone who’s been there. Time to talk to one of our current cohort:

Meet Ellis

When I was at Sixth Form, my school very much encouraged students to go to top universities. Obviously, when my friends started to celebrate their offers, they asked me if I got in – and they were totally astounded when I explained about Barclays Apprenticeships

I don’t think they could really believe that I was applying for an apprenticeship programme at one of the UK’s top banks, with paid work, professional experience and a degree all wrapped into it. Right now, I’m working in Group Risk, with responsibilities across three very different teams: People Risk, Group Fraud, and Chief of Staff. I’ve had all kinds of incredible moments within my role – things like helping the People Risk team run workshops with senior leaders, and helping the Fraud team co-ordinate training for the whole organisation.

I have bi-weekly one-to-one meetings with my manager, just to chat about my personal development and discuss what I’m working on. And when it comes to university assignments, our lecturers are really responsive and available too.

With so much to do, it means that from day to day, I’m learning all kinds of skills: risk management, scenario analysis, working with stakeholders - and even strengthening my emotional intelligence. 

Considering I joined Barclays when I had only just turned 18, with no financial services experience – or even office experience – I’ve had so much support. On my first day I was told ‘no question is a stupid question,’ and to this very day, if I have a question I ask it.

For me, this programme offers a truly unique experience. There’s a range of different challenges and responsibilities, senior leadership exposure, and a fast-paced team environment. I’m coming to the end of my Apprenticeship now, but I’m already looking to secure a permanent role here with Barclays’ support – so I know I’ve got an exciting career ahead of me.

Ellis, Higher Apprentice

Download a transcript of Ellis' film here

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