Barclays: First UK bank to offer Master’s Apprenticeship


26th February 2018

Today Barclays announced it is launching a Master’s Apprenticeship in Leadership, the first UK bank to offer this level of apprenticeship. The two-year programme will allow eligible candidates to further their studies whilst continuing to earn in their current role, completely free of charge.


This announcement follows the 2017 introduction by Barclays of the first Banking Degree Apprenticeship, as the business continues to increase accessibility to higher education through its award-winning apprenticeship programmes. 


In partnership with postgraduate specialists, Cranfield University, the Master’s Apprenticeship will see an initial intake of 30 Barclays employees study for an MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership. The two-year scheme will allow candidates to gain a Master’s level qualification whilst working and earning, to help further their career, increase potential earning power and become future leaders within the business.


Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships for Barclays comments: “We’re thrilled to be the first UK bank to offer apprentices the chance to undertake a Master’s Degree, whilst continuing the great work they do at Barclays.”


“The apprenticeship will allow candidates to gain a Master’s level qualification whilst continuing to apply the skills and knowledge learned in a workplace environment. On top of this, the scheme will enable us to create senior leaders of the future and make these positions within the business more accessible to people who may not have previously had the opportunity. Furthermore, our apprentices will be able to continue earning whilst they learn without incurring the debt traditionally associated with a Master’s Degree, opening up postgraduate education to a people from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds.”


As well as working on modules such as Organisational Behaviour, Strategy and Finance, apprentices will be able to learn vital on-the job skills that will equip them for senior leadership roles within various sectors of the business. Additionally, apprentices who successfully complete the programme will achieve CMI Chartered Fellow Status.


The new Master’s Apprenticeship will be open to employees in February who have gone through the Barclays Graduate programmes, Higher Apprenticeships, graduate programmes outside of Barclays and long-term Barclays colleagues who don’t have an undergraduate level degree*.


Greg Shanks, 30 from Milton of Campsie, Glasgow, started the Barclays apprenticeship programme in September 2017 as a Bolder Apprentice and is now working as a full-time Premier Relationship Manager. After several short-term contracts for various employers and a period of unemployment, Greg turned to the bank to help develop his skillset and was attracted by the fact that he could earn a consistent wage at the same time.


Greg said: “I really wanted to practice and learn within an established business, ideally working as part of a wider team. Being associated with a strong brand like Barclays has been a fantastic experience – they really value an individual’s ability and potential.


“Once I had explained what the apprentice involved to family and friends, they were extremely happy and supportive of my decision – especially seeing as I’d be earning a salary as well as a qualification.


“I’ve wanted to buy property with my partner for some time, something that hasn’t been achievable before now. Since joining Barclays, this is starting to feel like a reality as I’m able to save towards a deposit.


“I’d certainly advise anyone else in a similar position to myself to consider an apprenticeship – it gives you a purpose and helps you realise your potential, all whilst making considerable progress in a viable career.”


Similarly, Alan Leonard, 29 from Bishopbriggs, started Barclays as a Bolder Apprentice in September 2017 after a period of unemployment and temporary contracts with unsocial hours.


Alan said: “As I became a father shortly after being made redundant from my previous job, financial stability was important to me. I’d always loved the idea of pursuing a career and being able to provide my family – and Barclays was able to support me with both.


“Working for a household name like Barclays is a great place to pursue a stable career – there’s lots of opportunities for progression. I’m learning more and more about the finance industry and developing my skillset whilst having scheduled study days to work on my qualifications.


“In the short time I’ve been with Barclays, I’ve been able to set up a savings account for my daughter and have started saving a deposit to buy property – my dreams are coming true.


“I’d highly recommend the apprenticeship scheme – so much so I’m encouraging my family and friends to explore similar opportunities. Not only is it educational and beneficial, but it’s also extremely rewarding.”


With over 3,000 participants since launching its award-winning Apprenticeship programme in April 2012, Barclays offers a variety of schemes to suit a range of levels, interests and ages - including Traineeships, Foundation, Advanced, Bolder, Higher & Degree Apprenticeships. Through these programmes, Barclays offers candidates from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to achieve far-reaching skills, experience and insight. Enabling candidates to earn while they learn, Barclays Higher and Degree Apprentices receive 100 per cent funding, along with a competitive salary and benefits.


For more information about Barclays Apprenticeships visit

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