Given the current coronavirus lockdown restrictions in the UK, NatWest Group has decided to scale back its usual 10-week summer programme, which would usually see interns undertaking supervised work in teams working across the UK.
This year, the 170 interns will instead take part in some virtual learning activities over the summer, developing their knowledge of the bank and essential soft skills such as, personal resilience and building strong relationships.
The bank has also confirmed 50 apprentices from less advantaged backgrounds will still join this year’s Social Mobility Apprenticeship Programme in October, which runs in London, Edinburgh and Manchester.
The apprenticeships will last between two and four years and go up to degree level. A further 140 apprentices will join the bank’s other apprentice programmes in February 2021.
Alison Rose, Chief Executive of NatWest Group, said:
“Our summer internship programme and social mobility apprenticeship scheme are really important ways for us to bring young people from a diverse range of backgrounds into the banking industry.
“I am very pleased we are able to offer these opportunities to our interns and apprentices during what is a very difficult time. I look forward to welcoming this year’s cohort of young people to the bank.”
With most of the bank’s staff working from home during the pandemic and many of the internship programme’s benefits coming from the time interns spend with senior leaders and in teams, the decision was taken to change this year’s programme.
Instead, interns will join virtual learning activities from home. They will learn about the bank, its new purpose and how it is structured, how it is supporting customers through the coronavirus pandemic, its innovations and digital products.
The bank will look to offer placements on the 2021 graduate programme to interns who have fully engaged in the online learning programme. Between 80 and 85 per cent of interns are usually offered a graduate role upon completion of their placement.
The interns will also learn more about NatWest Group’s graduate programme, and they will have the chance to develop their soft skills, such as their personal resilience and how to communicate with impact.
They will be paid as they would have been if they were able to take up their 10-week internship at the bank.