Welsh businesses celebrate the UK’s first banking higher apprentices

With Higher Apprenticeships proving to be all the rage in the UK, new courses are being created all the time. Two of Wales’ biggest financial organisations are celebrating their apprentices who have become the first to gain a Level 4 qualification in Banking.


New era of apprenticeships

Acorn, a specialist recruitment and training agencies based in Newport, teamed up with Cardiff-based Principality Building Society 18 months ago to create a brand new apprenticeship programme for those who want to become bankers but do not want to go to University.

Six students applied to be part of the initiative, which is accredited by the Institute of Financial Services.

They were all taught by Principality execs who taught them a range of skills. The apprentices got to grips with legislative, regulatory and risk elements in order to understand the retail financial services sector.

New types of apprenticeships are constantly being launched. In 2014, skills minister Matthew Hancock and Sir Bobby Charlton launched the UK’s first ever apprenticeship for the insurance sector.


‘Apprenticeships have a significant place within the financial industry’

Now that the apprenticeship is over, it is time to celebrate. Andrew McGill, Ceri Thomas, Laura Palmer, Carrie Ann Morris, Maria Vidler and Andrew Gay came together from areas all over Wales and were congratulated by Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology.

In a ceremony that took place at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre, James celebrated the success of the higher apprentices.

‘‘The success of these learners is truly a testament to the hard work of all involved from Acorn and Principality Building Society,’’ said James.

‘‘These two Welsh companies have worked together to be the first in the UK to achieve this Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship. This is great news for Wales and really establishes that Apprenticeships have a significant place within the financial industry.’’