Barclays is launching what is believed to be the first apprenticeships in the UK aimed at those over 24 and with no upper age limit for those wanting to join the scheme.

Called ‘Bolder Apprenticeships’, this new scheme involves people who are returning to work or starting a new career taking up apprenticeships, working in business areas at Barclays such as contact centres, community banking and fraud offices.

Mike Thompson, Director of Apprenticeships at Barclays, says the new scheme is aimed at longer term unemployed or underemployed people and those without limited qualifications by offering them the route to a permanent role mainly in UK contact centres and branches.

Barclays is taking on people with natural customer service skills and Thompson says one of its benefits is that older workers are often better able to empathise with customers who, for example, have been the victims of fraud.

The bank first launched its apprenticeship programme with just eight positions three years ago, and by the end of 2014 it had recruited its 2000th apprentice.

The new Bolder Apprenticeships scheme kicked off this summer and some of its results will be shared by Barclays at our Employee Engagement Summit next April, where some of the successful Bolder Apprenticeships candidates will be attending along with Mike Thompson.

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