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By Rachel Lock, HR Director

Lord Sugar isn’t the only person busy hiring an apprentice at the moment. In fact, my team and I have been working on an apprenticeship programme of our own; over the next couple of months, up to 40 school and college leavers will join TSB on a 12-month intensive on-the-job training programme.

We know going to university isn’t for everyone or even necessary for every job available at TSB. That is why we have launched this programme to help young jobseekers and secure the best people for TSB.

What will our apprentices do?

Rachel Lock
Rachel Lock

Our apprentices will be based in seven locations across Britain1 in either a customer operations role or working in one of our 631 branches. They’ll follow a tailored programme, giving them the chance to learn from our existing Partners whilst having the opportunity to develop their skills and acquire new ones.

The customer-facing nature of the apprenticeship roles is intentional; we’re working really hard on providing great customer service and this starts from our frontline Partners.

Our apprentices will have an opportunity to gain a new qualification.

I am passionate about personal development, so all of our apprentices will have a chance to complete a ‘Level 3 Award in Providing Financial Services’ qualification.

The benefits of this are twofold. For our apprentices, the qualification will help them in their day job, as well as enhance their employability in the future. While for TSB, the confidence of our apprentices will grow, which should lead to better customer service and performance over time.

Looking to the future is central to our apprenticeship programme; by setting young people on the right path now, they’ll flourish in the future.

And, I’m delighted that the important role Apprenticeship schemes, such as ours, play in society and local economies across Britain has been recognised by Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg.

“Good quality apprenticeships are key to building a stronger economy, and a perfect first step on the career ladder for young people, spreading opportunities to create a fairer society. Schemes like TSB’s help create a highly skilled and motivated workforce, bring fresh talent to business, and reward ambitious young people with a fascinating career.

“Around half a million people a year take the chance to learn whilst they work, allowing employers to train up a workforce and compete internationally.”

(The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg)

The success of our apprentices is important and will help TSB succeed.

TSB’s raison d’être is to bring more competition to UK banking and to provide customers with more choice – and we do this by bringing local banking to Britain. There are already a number examples of how we are delivering this, such as scrapping costly 0845 phone numbers, launching our new Classic Plus bank account and offering to pay customers’ stamp duty and council tax.

Importantly, when it comes to setting ourselves apart by offering the best customer service we can, we are now seeing independent recognition of how we’re differentiating ourselves from other banks. For example, in a recent survey by Which? Magazine, TSB was the only high street bank to be ranked in the top quartile for providing the best customer service against UK brands. We have great people working for TSB and our apprenticeship programme is here to reinforce that, and to ensure we continue to invest in our workforce.

Finally, I’d like to wish our new apprentices good luck in their new roles. I’m really excited to have them join TSB and I’ll be keeping a close eye on their progress!

1Barnwood, Sunderland, Swansea, Edinburgh, Central Scotland, Glasgow and Sheldon.