Claire Findlay, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

The growth of higher apprenticeships is no secret, and it’s not difficult to see why apprenticeship starts have grown in the last few years.

They offer the opportunity to gain a degree level qualification along with extensive work experience, all whilst earning an income. In 2017/18 13% of apprenticeships starts were higher level compared to 7% in 2016/17.

As an experienced apprenticeship provider, Barclays has conducted extensive research to establish what needs a Higher Apprentice has. We have found that their situation aligns very closely with that of the existing student market; this is to be as expected as both are studying full time, the average age is similar and the average credit turnover is almost the same, albeit their income will be paid at a different frequency.

It’s no surprise then, that their banking needs are similar to their university peers. Our research highlighted the benefits of offering apprentices an overdraft and digital banking, and that cashback offers are of high value to both customer sub segments.

At Barclays, we base our student proposition around not only the journey into and throughout higher education, but beyond and into the world of employment. This transferable proposition can also benefit those in higher apprenticeships as they transition from entry level roles into middle and more senior management roles, supporting them on their journey through both education and becoming financially independent.

Apprenticeships are not only for the younger generation, as the Apprenticeship levy has encouraged more employers to offer a range of programmes, including to the older generation. The research shows that more mature apprentices would also benefit from the proposition, but focussed around their individual financial needs.

Barclays have extended its Student Additions bank account to Higher Apprentices. This will give Higher Apprentices access to all the perks of the account including a market leading overdraft proposition of up to £3000 fee free, which can be increased in stages throughout each year of study and decreases gradually after graduation; providing support throughout their studies and an additional 3 years after graduation.

We believe this offering will cater to the younger generation of apprentices who have needs incredibly similar to that of students, and also to the older generation of apprentices who may be juggling work and studies, alongside family life. Understanding our customers and developing propositions by solving problems for customers in specific sets of circumstances is a positive step that we feel is the key to effective segmentation. 

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Claire Findlay, Head of Apprenticeships at Barclays

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