Barclays apprentice secures full time role

20-year-old Ismaiell from Lambeth had trouble finding a job after graduating college with a BTEC qualification in business. While volunteering with the charity Kids Company, Ismaiell heard about Barclay’s apprenticeship scheme. He had no experience of banking but Barclays invests in young people and doesn’t ask for any experience. He secured a place as a cashier to train for a year in the Great Portland Street branch. He shares his experience below:

“I applied for around 50 jobs and most never even replied. The ones who did get back said they couldn’t give me a job because they were looking for people with experience. I found that very frustrating. How are you supposed to get experience if no one will give you a chance?”

“I couldn’t believe it at first. It seemed too good to be true. I dropped in my CV and Barclays invited me to an assessment day where I took part in scenarios with 12 other people so they could find out how we worked as a team. I really enjoyed it and the feedback was that I had good ­leadership and communications skills.”

 “As a cashier, I have learned a lot about customer service and have got to know many of our regular customers. I am the community champion for the branch, which means working with charities like Macmillan and coming up with fund-raising ideas. I have also been involved in advocacy, looking at ways of improving services so customers will recommend our bank to other people.”

“I finish my apprenticeship this month and I’ve already been told they want me to stay on in a full-time job. I would like to work in corporate banking, where you are still helping customers but they are big businesses rather than individual people.”