Barclays Bank established its Bolder Apprenticeship programme in 2015. The programme was designed to extend opportunities for apprenticeships across the organisation, specifically providing support for adults over the age of 24 wishing to get back into the workplace. So how as it evolved?

The drive behind the Bolder project was the realisation that with a customer base covering 5 generations it made sense for Barclays to build a workforce which would mirror this age range. Barclays could also see that a multigenerational workplace would help to strengthen its relationship with its customers, especially with older customers.

The Barclays Older (Bolder) Apprenticeship programme was launched in April 201. Mike Thompson, director of apprenticeships at Barclays, said of the context at the time of launch, “Once out of work, older workers face a much tougher task to find the opportunities to get back into full employment again. We believe that age or social circumstances shouldn’t be a barrier or deciding factor in finding a viable route to employment.”

To date, Barclays has recruited 89 Bolder Apprentices since its launch in 2015 and the older ratio of apprentices has grown from 4% to 20%, with 400 apprentices out of 2000 being older.

"We believe that age or social circumstances shouldn’t be a barrier or deciding factor in finding a viable route to employment."

Mike Thompson, director of apprenticeships at Barclays.

One of Barclays Bolder apprentices, Duncan Foster.

Barclays believe quite rightly that reskilling can be achieved at any age. Duncan Foster, started ay Barclays as one of the Bolder Apprentices, in the collections team, in Manchester. Duncan gave up his career to look after his children for 12 years, allowing his wife the opportunity to strengthen her own company while the children were being taken care of. He valued his time at home with the children but felt he still had something to offer in the workplace. He became dejected after applying for numerous jobs, only to be told his skills were out of date and he lacked recent experience. He then heard about the Barclays Bolder Apprenticeship Scheme and knew it fitted his circumstances perfectly.

Once he successfully completed the apprentice programme, he decided to stay on with Barclays at its Piccadilly Place cite. He is now proud to have completed the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Banking in the Finance Service and Accounting Sectors and has a permanent job with Barclays.