A Sustainable Future for Apprenticeships
This week we are joining other organisations and individuals across England in celebrating the 15th anniversary of National Apprenticeship week (NAW2022), reflecting on how apprenticeships can help individuals to develop the skills and knowledge required for a rewarding career, and businesses to develop a talented workforce that is equipped with future-ready skills. In banking, we maintain our belief that apprenticeships offer outstanding opportunities to individuals at all stages of their careers, and help employers develop the workforce they need to successfully navigate a rapidly changing environment.
We at the Institute have a proud heritage of assuring professional and educational standards for nearly 150 years and that is why we are closely involved in some key areas of work that are helping to shape the future of apprenticeships in banking and financial services more widely by:
- offering professional qualifications that are integral elements of a range of banking and finance apprenticeships;
- assisting ‘Financial Services’ and ‘Risk/Compliance’ Trailblazer Groups (employers) in activity to support their review and updating of financial services related apprenticeship standards.
The UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) hosted by the UK in November 2021 also underlined the importance of supporting the transition to net zero, and we recognise that as a banking sector, in particular, we need to act quickly to ensure we attract, retain and develop the digital and green finance skills needed to ensure the UK remains the world’s leading financial services centre. To support the capacity and capability needed and to help embed green and sustainable finance into existing and potentially new apprenticeship standards, we have been involved for the past few months with the Institute of Apprenticeships & Technical Education’s ‘Green Finance & Enabling Roles Subgroup’, which will provide a steer to Trailblazers groups to include a green and sustainable thread within apprenticeship standards.
Speaking personally, as someone who left school with few formal qualifications, banking can provide you with the route to a successful career and professional qualifications through apprenticeships, making me a champion for apprenticeships too. For some individuals, university is not the best option for a career in banking and finance and for others university is simply not an option, so I’m keen for young people to have the choice to pursue a career in banking and finance, either via a traditional-style apprenticeship or a degree apprenticeship if they prefer that option. Whichever route is chosen, we must ensure the pipeline of talent is maintained with no barriers attached, so it becomes a long-term route into a career in banking with professional qualifications attached to it that makes it as a valid as joining a bank with a university degree.
This is where professional bodies such as the Chartered Banker Institute, and our Chartered Body Alliance partners, can help, as our membership of more than 200,000 active practitioners provides the insight and expertise needed to keep the professional knowledge and skills of colleagues in banking and financial services current. Supporting the development of the professional knowledge and skills needed by individuals and their employers to build the future we all want to see and providing strong support to a sustainable future for apprenticeships.
President and Chair, Chartered Banker Institute