BANKING giant Barclays is holding a major event in Liverpool to announce its plan to help create thousands of new apprentices.
To mark the beginning of National Apprenticeships Week, Barclays will reveal it is taking on 1,000 new banking apprentices across the UK, including in Merseyside.
Rival banking group Santander is also announcing today that it is to create 275 apprenticeships, including 40 at its centre in Bootle.
Barclays is also launching its Barclays Bridges Into Work scheme which will offer businesses across England a free package of support with the aim of creating 10,000 new apprenticeships across the country.
The initiative is being backed by business secretary, Vince Cable.
Its Liverpool launch event will take place at the ECHO Arena and BT Convention Centre and there will also be events taking place in Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham and London.
Under Barclays Bridges Into Work, 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 Princes Trust as well as Route 2 training.
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.”
Santander will also roll out its apprenticeship programme today.
The group ran a pilot in 2012 with applicants joining work-based apprenticeships at the company’s offices in Bootle and Bradford.
The 2013 programme, which will be rolled out across the whole of the UK, will take on a total of 275 apprentices in the bank’s manufacturing, retail distribution, telephone distribution and business banking divisions.
Marcus Lee, head of resourcing and early in career at Santander, said: “These roles provide people with invaluable work experience, supported by professional development and the benefit of a nationally recognised qualification.”
This week’s Liverpool Post business pullout, published on Thursday, February 14, will take a closer look at apprenticeships and explain how small firms can get involved.