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Barclays to recruit a further 1,000 apprentices and announce groundbreaking new programme to support 10,000 young people into work


Businesses across England will be able to receive a package of free support to help them find, employ and train a local apprentice under a new nationwide Barclays Bridges Into Work programme that will supp ort 10,000 young people into work.

The new programme is being launched at major events in Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Birmingham and London as the opening event of National Apprenticeship Week and will be available for businesses large and small to access support across the country.

Local Barclays teams will play a key role in matching up suitable apprentices and businesses in their area. The programme will be delivered in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service, charity partners Tomorrow’s People and The Prince’s Trust as well as Route 2 training.

In addition, Barclays will double the number of apprentices that it is recruiting into its own workforce to 2,000 specifically helping young people in long term unemployment with little or no qualifications into permanent and fully paid jobs.

The new drive will build on Barclays successful programme which is recruiting 1,000 apprentices this year, and the National Apprenticeship Service’s existing support to help SMEs in particular to create Apprenticeships.

The Barclays Bridges Into Work programme has been designed to overcome perceived barriers to the creation of Apprenticeships especially in smaller businesses uncovered by new research that found:

More than 50 per cent of SMEs (52 per cent) said that they would not take on an apprentice due to fears about the amount of time it takes to set up and the additional support they thought a young person would need.
Time is the most significant barrier for companies with 250-500 employees (61 per cent), while perceived red tape was the biggest factor for smaller companies with just 5-9 employees (39 per cent).
However, encouragingly 76 per cent of SMEs said that they would want to be part of a scheme that helped set up Apprenticeships for young people.

The new package of support will be announced on Monday alongside the results of a major new study highlighting the productivity and economic growth apprentices deliver to the economy.

Joining Jason Holt, entrepreneur and author of the Holt Review into Apprenticeships, at the London launch event will be Business Secretary, Vince Cable, scores of local businesses, industry organisations, and young jobseekers.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable, said:

“We can only build a stronger economy and get more people into work by working with businesses. This funding from Barclays will do just that.

“It will offer 10,000 young people a chance to get the skills they need to enter the workplace, like help with writing CVs and interview techniques. It will help small companies who are nervous about taking that first step to recruiting an apprentice, by matching them with the right young people and offering advice on how they can get the most out of an apprentice.

“With over a million people starting apprentices since 2010 we know that they are popular with young people and employers. Today’s announcement will help build on this success"

Ashok Vaswani, Chief Executive of Barclays Retail and Business Banking, said:

“We’ve seen first-hand how our apprentices are incredibly productive and valued members of staff, which is why we are now doubling our recruitment to 2,000. But we often also find great young people who want to work in other industries, and we believe we can help them into work through our vast network of business customers.

“We want to help local businesses to take on their own apprentices and will support them every step of the way. Our new package of free support is available to any businesses whether they bank with us or not because we are aiming to make a really big difference to young people’s careers, and to our economy.”

David Way, Chief Executive of the National Apprenticeship Service, welcomed Barclays’ announcement:

“For the number of Apprenticeships to continue to increase, it’s vital that employers like Barclays, who have so many contacts with businesses promote Apprenticeships to them.

“What makes Barclays Bridges Into Work so incredibly important is that Barclays will also work with government and training providers to develop suitable young people to fill these opportunities.

“Our specialist small business team and free recruitment service makes it as easy as possible for small businesses to take on an apprentice and will complement the Barclays Bridges into Work programme.”

The package of free support available includes:

Pre-apprenticeship training to help get candidates ready for their apprenticeships and work, through programmes run by Barclays charity partners Tomorrow’s People and The Prince’s Trust, as well as Route 2 training.
Assistance to help businesses find potential apprentice candidates in their local area for them to interview before making a decision to hire.
Advice for SMEs on how Apprenticeships work, access to Government grants, and how they can help local businesses to develop talent.
Ongoing mentoring and support for both the apprentice and the employer throughout the Apprenticeship.

Following two successful pilot events in Romford and Stoke last month, already 16 businesses have pledged to take on apprentices of their own.

Cyndy Lessing, Joint Managing Director of SoSensational fashion boutique in Enfield, attended the Romford event and said:

“I was keen to know more about the Apprenticeship programme. It was eye-opening to discover how many young people left full time education and were unable to find work. Our company is now in discussions about taking on an apprentice and the information and service provided by Barclays has proved extremely worthwhile and valuable.”

Since joining the Barclays apprenticeship programme, Shelbie Sinclair has trained as a cashier in our Barking Branch. Shelbie said:

“Some people said I wouldn’t amount to anything but since doing my apprenticeship my confidence and self-worth is so much better. I really want to do well with Barclays and develop my skills as much as possible.”

To find out more about the programme and how to get involved as a business visit our website or telephone 01928 703974.

For detailed information about Apprenticeships and the AGE 16 to 24 Grant of £1,500 to help cover the costs of taking on a new apprentice, visit or call 08000 150 600.
Notes to Editors:

Barclays Bridges Into Work
Barclays Bridges into Work is a comprehensive package put together by Barclays and our partners to help businesses of all sizes and across all sectors, find, employ and train a young apprentice, giving local businesses a similar level of support to Barclays own Apprenticeship programme. The package will deliver information, advice and guidance, tailored to suit the requirement of each business.

In the key urban areas of East London, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and Liverpool, where the youth unemployment challenge is greatest, the programme will also provide:

Visits to a business to identify and advise on suitable roles and qualifications for an apprentice.
Training to help prepare young people for work.
Introducing work-ready apprentice candidates for the business to consider.
Support for the business and apprentice during the transition into the workplace.

In order to access the Barclays Bridges into Work support package Barclays asks each local business participating to:

Pay at least the National Living Wage.
Ensure that there is a clear opportunity for a permanent job if their apprentice successfully completes their programme.

Barclays Apprenticeship Programme
Barclays started recruiting apprentices in April 2012 under a major programme which focuses on the quality of Apprenticeships, which:

Aims to help people with no prior experience or qualifications into work
Provides full pay from day one of the Apprenticeship equivalent to a new joiner
Ensures dedicated training towards recognised qualifications and regular mentoring
A permanent job from day one, confirmed for everyone who successfully completes the programme after twelve months.

The Barclays Apprenticeship programme has been highly successful in providing opportunities for young people who would otherwise struggle to find work. 85 per cent of apprentices were not in employment, education or training (NEET) before joining. Almost half (49 per cent) had been unemployed for more than six months and over a quarter (27 per cent) for more than a year. Two out of five had fewer than four GCSEs at grades A-C.

What Barclays apprentices say:

The benefits for me have been learning, gaining experience and gaining a qualification. Dealing with difficult customers has been challenging but meeting my colleagues has been a great highlight. I would like to become a Barclays manager one day. Lucie Yemm (18) Coventry

I’ve learnt life lessons for the future as well as people skills and communication skills. I’ve also, without a doubt, gained lots of confidence. I simply want to be the best person I can be and Barclays are helping me to do that. Oyinlola Ekosanmi (23) Coventry

The prospect of working for such a big and successful company was daunting at first. When I started though, I knew I needn’t have worried. My manager and colleagues are brilliant and have been helping me to learn everything I need to know. The days are already starting to fly by!’ Rhiannon Eaton (19) Kingsbury

National Apprenticeship Service
The National Apprenticeship Service focuses on increasing the number of apprentices in England. We work with employers to help them introduce apprentices into their businesses, help those looking to start their careers find an Apprenticeship opportunity and contribute towards the costs of the training and qualifications within an Apprenticeship. We engage with a wide range of partners to help design the frameworks for apprentices and we implement all Government policies aimed at setting the high standard of quality Apprenticeships.

We promote excellence in Apprenticeships and vocational training with awards, campaigns and skills competitions including National Apprenticeship Week and WorldSkills UK.

The AGE 16 to 24 Grant
AGE 16 to 24 was introduced last year to help small and medium sized businesses with less than 1000 employees take on an apprentice and secure the skills they need to grow. The £1,500 grant is available to employers who have never employed an apprentice before, or have not done so in last 12 months. Initially only on offer during the 2012/13 financial year, it was announced last month that the funding has been extended until at least 31st December 2013.

Research Methodology
Research was undertaken in January 2013 amongst 254 UK business decision makers working in companies with 5-500 employees. The research was conducted by Opinion Matters.

About Barclays

Barclays is a major global financial services provider engaged in personal banking, credit cards, corporate and investment banking and wealth and investment management with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia.

With over 300 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide.
For further information about Barclays, please visit our website


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