From education to employment

Metro Bank apprentices share experience as more than half of UK workers want a career change

Appentices – From Acorns To Oak Trees

How humble beginnings can grow into a career (@Metro_Bank)

The pandemic has contributed to many workers re-evaluating their chosen career path.  Recent research (2020) from London Business School reveals that nearly half of us (47%) want to change our careers. Statistics show that those aged 18-24 and 24-34 are most likely to want a career change (68% and 65% respectively).  The survey also revealed over a third wanted to change for better work life balance and job satisfaction. The latest research from Jobrapido cited more than half of us (52%) would embark on an Apprenticeship if it could support a career change or move to a different industry sector.

In 2018/19, there were 742,400 people participating in an apprenticeship in England.  Apprentices are available for current or new employees. Apprentices get to work with experienced colleagues, learning new job specific skills while getting the opportunity to earn whilst they learn.

Metro Bank is famous for its recruitment ethos – hire for attitude, train for skills.  The Bank has successfully run its apprenticeship scheme since 2017. The Bank offers a number of apprenticeship schemes including  a 12 month Apprentice Cashier Programme accredited by City & Guilds, a 15 month Apprentice Customer Service Representative Programme and an MSc in Retail and Digital Banking with the Cranfield School of Management. 145 colleagues have successfully completed their apprenticeship programmes including 16 colleagues from across the Bank who have finished the two-year part-time degree. These colleagues are the first in the UK to complete the Masters level apprenticeship for senior banking professionals.

“Many people delay changing careers, because they don’t believe they have the right skill set and believe a career in financial services is only for the chosen few.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Breaking into banking using the apprentice route is one way to undertake career development,” explains Carol Frost, chief people officer, Metro Bank.

Aidan Moore, aged 24, is one of Metro Bank’s commercial banking managers working in the large commercial and specialist sectors team.  Aidan joined Metro Bank in July 2015 as an apprentice cashier after finishing his A Levels.

“Before joining I knew very little about banking, other than my experiences as a customer. Working instore, I really learnt a lot from my colleagues and got a solid grounding in the services we offer our customers.”

After completing his apprenticeship, Aidan moved on to become a customer service representative (CSR) where he serviced and opened accounts for both retail and business customers and found his passion for business by learning how the role of banking impacts every type of business and industry sector. Aidan was then fast tracked through the local business manager programme which helped prepare him to step up into being a relationship manager. He was then fast tracked through the local director programme, when he was approached about joining the bank’s commercial team.

“As a relationship manager I honed my management skills and this was a great stepping stone to my current role.  The learning curve coming into commercial has been steep but the support has been great and I’m really enjoying the challenge.” It wasn’t an easy step, but with the help of those around me and my mentor over the following two years I grew in experience, helping me move into commercial.

“In my current role the variety is incredible – from dealing with professional sports clubs to high street retailers, established businesses of 75 years+, to exciting young tech firms, I understand how we support our customers to grow their business.

“I would encourage anyone to consider an apprenticeship if they want to take on a new role and especially with a company like Metro Bank which places so much emphasis on looking to recruit people based on the raw talent they can see, rather than just what they have previously done.”

Customer services representative, Clarise Chivers aged 25 joined Metro Bank as an apprentice cashier in 2018. “I had no banking experience and wanted to work towards building a career for myself. Once I graduated from the year-long programme I become a cashier, before rapidly being promoted to a CSR role.

Clarise then trained to become a multi skilled CSR, and with additional business and on the job training she was promoted again in September 2021 to Expert CSR.

“Banking is so much more than I expected.  As a community bank, we are encouraged to engage with our local communities and I have been able support a number of local charities as well as being chosen to attend local schools to offer financial education to students through our Money Zone programme.

“My long term goal is to become an apprentice trainer so I can share my experiences through my personal Metro Bank journey and hopefully inspire new apprentices.”

For more information about apprentice roles at Metro Bank visit here.

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