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Empowering apprentices to be the best they can be

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Male manager, leaning over to check a female apprentices’ work. Image includes the HSBC logo.

We spoke to our client, HSBC UK, to find out the benefits of their Kaplan apprenticeship programme and how it helps them prepare for the future.

What does HSBC UK’s landscape for learning and development look like in 2022?

Our aim is to continue educating, inspiring, and empowering more people, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds, and helping to make HSBC UK an inclusive employer of choice. We do this by spreading awareness of our early careers programmes and working collaboratively with wider areas of the bank.

How does HSBC UK identify where apprenticeships add value?

It starts with our Early Careers team speaking to senior managers and key stakeholders in various business areas. Their expertise and insight helps to highlight how apprenticeships would benefit the team, customers, and wider business.

We then work together to ensure that the programme gives apprentices the opportunity to learn new skills and knowledge. It also helps them to network across the bank, establishing their own personal brand and expanding their future career opportunities.

What impact do you hope to achieve both for the business and the apprentice?

We value difference, with diverse ideas and perspectives helping us to innovate, manage risk, and grow our business in a sustainable way. In terms of business impact, we encourage apprentices to bring their true and authentic selves to work, in turn bringing new ideas and viewpoints into the bank.

For the apprentices, we aim to help them be the best they can be through tailored, engaging, and relevant training delivered in a blended method by Kaplan that suits the individual.

It is also an opportunity to join one of the world’s largest financial services organisations in a permanent role to start and grow their career, working across all business areas and functions, and developing their skills and knowledge.

What skills gaps do you hope to fill?

With many of our apprentices being part of a younger generation, they can bring insight into what Gen Z employees and customers want from HSBC UK.

Soft skills such as curiosity, desire for new experiences, creativity, and resilience not only helps them as individuals to develop and adapt, but also helps HSBC UK grow and transform as new innovations develop.

What are the business priorities for HSBC UK?

We want to be a truly inclusive business – opening up a world of opportunity for our customers. We are bringing together the people, ideas and capital that nurture progress and growth, helping to create a better world – for our customers, our people, our investors, our communities and the planet we all share.

Banks have a major role to play in the fight against climate change, and HSBC is committed to helping lead the transition to a global net zero economy. We’re helping our customers make a successful transition by providing world-class sustainable finance and advice, and are also working to achieve net zero in our own operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.

The wellbeing of our employees has always been paramount, and continues to be a high priority in regard to the impact the pandemic has made on people’s wellbeing. We are making sure we continue to provide support, make relevant adjustments, and create a safe and flexible environment to work in.

Apprenticeships help to achieve these priorities by offering an alternative pathway for individuals to join the organisation, whether they are school leavers, returning parents, or career changers. They help us attract a diverse demographic of talent, with different strengths and skills, that are essential for HSBC to be innovative, collaborative, and to become industry leaders, fit for the future.

What EDI considerations do you make whilst recruiting?

We are a disability-confident employer that supports candidates with disabilities and long term health conditions by making reasonable adjustments not just during the selection process, but throughout their career with HSBC.

Also, prior to all campaigns, we run open events which allow candidates to hear from an apprentice regarding their journey, help them find out more about the opportunities and the role itself. We also have colleagues from disadvantaged backgrounds share their stories to help inspire others.

From these events, we have seen an increase in applications from disadvantaged backgrounds as well as making a positive impact on social mobility.

We also run briefing sessions at each stage of the selection process. These are open to all candidates to help them be the best they can be, and especially supports individuals who haven’t had any support and lack confidence due to their background or disadvantages.

Quote from Mr Ian Stuart, Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC UK

“Apprenticeships add enormous value to our business and provide people who may not have gone to university with another route into a challenging and rewarding career with HSBC.

“Apprentices bring with them many skills and behaviours – innovative thinking and ideas, motivation and determination to name but a few. Their hard work and commitment not only to their apprenticeship programme, but to their colleagues, our customers and the wider organisation is very much valued.”

For more information about how a Kaplan apprenticeship programme can support your organisation’s goals, visit our Apprenticeships for Employers page.