Apprenticeship scheme represents seismic shift in recruitment at Barclays, says rep

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) annual conference, Mike Thompson, head of the Early Careers initiative at Barclays, described the company’s apprenticeship programme as the “single best thing that Barclays has done in the HR space for many years” and said this was a “seismic shift” in its recruitment strategy.

The scheme began 18 months ago and offerred 1,000 apprentice places to 16-24 year olds, following a new CEO at the bank as well as a letter from London mayor Boris Johnson who asked corporations to help deal with the country’s youth unemployment issue.

Barclays has also launched the Let’s Get to Work initiative in partnership with other businesses to give 1 million young people access to essential skills needed to get jobs. This includes money management techniques and understanding the importance of time and personal presentation. Half of the country’s schools have already singed up to this scheme.

According to Thompson: “It helps people get [employability] skills before they leave school, preventing them from becoming NEETs (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or falling into the gap between work and the school system.”