As part of its continued commitment to championing potential, NatWest Group is working with Leadership Through Sport & Business to recruit young people who come from under-represented backgrounds for apprenticeships based in London, Edinburgh and Manchester.
The launch of the Social Mobility Apprenticeship Programme follows a pilot in London last year, where NatWest Ventures, the bank’s digital innovation arm, partnered with Leadership Through Sport & Business (LTSB) to give opportunities to young people who wouldn’t normally consider a career in banking or with a large corporate organisation.
Justina Blair, 20, was involved in last year’s pilot programme and is currently a Digital Apprentice at NatWest. Justina is from Merton. She said: “I am very grateful for LTSB who have made the transition between adolescence and adulthood a lot less nerve-wracking. With their assistance I secured a job working at a bank led by a female CEO, Alison Rose, I’m being paid the same as my male peers, and I am more confident than ever that I can navigate my career beyond my four-year degree.”
Desire Agyemang, 19, also from Merton, said: “The opportunities with this job have been endless, and have really allowed me to develop more than just my technical skills, but also push me to perform in environments I never would have before. I've met brilliant minds that have been there for every step of the journey like my line manager who's continued support has been nothing but incredible and appreciated at every moment. LTSB have also made their presence known throughout the whole time giving me enough room to grow whilst still being only a call away. All in all, the last few months have been full of personal growth and I'm only grateful that this is just the beginning of my role."
Earlier this year, NatWest Group CEO Alison Rose outlined the bank’s new purpose-led strategy which highlighted the need to champion potential. One of the ways the bank is doing this is through the Social Mobility Apprenticeship Programme which is supporting young people from a range of communities across the country in achieving their goals.
LTSB Co-CEO Caroline Adair sees the bank’s investment in social mobility as being an issue of leadership, especially right now. She said: “NatWest Group’s continued commitment to developing talent from under-represented backgrounds makes good business sense as the case for diversity is well established.
“But while many firms are uncertain about the future, it’s particularly important that NatWest Group is leading the way in creating opportunities for those most likely to be affected should the jobs market contract.”
Andy Ellis, Head of NatWest Ventures, said: “This programme’s about helping young adults in the communities we work in, who otherwise may have been overlooked in traditional application processes, reach their potential. Central to our apprenticeship programme is our commitment to championing the potential of our staff and support them in their development.
“We’re very proud to be in a position where we can help make a difference in these apprentices’ personal and professional futures, whilst also learning more from them on how we can make our business better.”
How will the programme work?
The bank is looking to recruit up to 63 young people to apprenticeship roles of varying levels at its offices in Edinburgh, London and Manchester. The apprenticeships will start in October.
Applications for apprentice positions in digital, technology and customer service apprenticeships are now being accepted. Candidates will take part in a three-week bootcamp of personal and professional development, with successful completion of the bootcamp leading to a job interview.
Those who are offered an apprenticeship role will join a Re-Charge week including team building activities featuring sports leadership and corporate insights before joining the bank in October.
While on the programme, apprentices will have the opportunity to gain a qualification while learning new skills, earning a competitive salary, and will be supported professionally through the programme.
LTSB has been working for years with young people from under-represented backgrounds, recognising many can thrive in major firms but lack the necessary preparation, access and support.
Applications are now open, with bootcamp launching in July and August. Find out more and apply.