Business

NatWest launches social mobility apprenticeship scheme in Bristol

A new scheme to help young people from disadvantaged backgrounds start careers at NatWest is launching in Bristol.

Social mobility charity Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB) has teamed up with the bank to run an apprenticeship programme for 16-to-24-year-olds interested in digital, data and customer service jobs.

The charity is inviting young people to apply for the programme, which will include a three-week boot camp run by LTSB, followed by guaranteed interviews with NatWest.

Successful candidates will then be invited to join the NatWest Group apprentice scheme on starting salaries of at least £19,000. The new roles will begin in September.

The charity’s support is aimed at young people from low-income backgrounds, who may have had free school meals, live in less affluent areas or who face particular barriers to employment and career opportunities.

NatWest, which is already running the scheme in other parts of the UK, said it selected Bristol because it is a city where youth unemployment is an issue and it believed the impact of Covid-19 had hit young people “disproportionately”.

Matt Hatcher, director of corporate and commercial banking for the West of England region at NatWest Group, said: “Our apprentices bring new ideas, a new perspective, digital skills and they challenge the way we do things to ensure our services reflect our customer needs.

“We are proud to partner with LTSB who support us with our social mobility apprenticeship programmes and help us to open up more apprenticeship opportunities to young people from less advantaged backgrounds across the city region during this challenging time.”

According to LTSB, its bootcamps, which will take place over the summer, will offer the skills training and support young people need.

Saima Hamid, LTSB digital and technology degree apprentice, who has taken part in the scheme, said the bootcamp was “career changing”.

She said: “It equips you with essential employability skills that would be required in any role as well as essential soft skills.

“This opportunity allows you to meet professionals from several different backgrounds and roles, giving you a detailed insight of what it’s like working in a business environment.”

Paul Evans, chief executive of LTSB said partnerships like the one with NatWest offered “hope” to young people at a time when many felt their futures had been “stolen”.

He added: “NatWest Group once again has demonstrated their commitment to social mobility and purpose-based leadership.

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“Together we are making a dent in the youth unemployment crisis and ensuring that bright, talented, amazing young people find meaningful careers that match their aspirations, talents and ambitions.”

LTSB was founded by businessman David Pinchin in 2012. The charity has supported more than 600 young people into careers in accountancy, finance, and digital skills.

To apply for the scheme, visit ltsb.charity/digital-apprenticeships

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