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Apprentices complete training to secure jobs with Leeds Building Society

The first young people taken on by Leeds Building Society under its apprenticeship scheme have completed their training and moved into full-time permanent jobs.

The five, who had little or no previous experience in the financial services sector, all successfully completed Advanced Level Apprenticeships Level 3 NVQ qualifications in subjects including Providing Financial Services, and Business and Administration.

Society apprentices are matched with different departments and complete two years' paid training in the workplace as they progress towards formal qualifications in their chosen specialism.

"We've just welcomed our third intake of apprentices through our relationship with Leeds City College and the first apprentices are now full-time, permanent colleagues," said Becky Hewitt, Leeds Building Society's General Manager – People.

"Each apprentice has their own development plan, which sets out a clear framework and milestones for their two year training period, how they will advance in their role and which courses they need to complete.

"The apprenticeship scheme is an important way to bring in talented young individuals to specific business areas and support them as they develop in what can be challenging roles to become valued colleagues in their teams and the business as a whole."

The Society's apprenticeship scheme started in autumn 2012 and is a partnership with Leeds City College. Five apprentices were recruited in the first year, six in 2013, and a further five in September this year.

Existing apprentices are completing Advanced Level Apprenticeships in Providing Financial Services, Business Administration, Customer Service, Marketing and Accountancy across sites in Leeds and the North East.

David Gaughan, Leeds City College's Director of Apprenticeships, said: "Over the last two years we have seen the relationship flourish between the College and Leeds Building Society into what has become an embedded approach to recruitment of apprentices into the workplace in a variety of work roles.

"Many of the apprentices recruited at Leeds Building Society have not only excelled in the workplace but have acted as ambassadors to promote the apprenticeship message to a wide variety of audiences, including media outlets, schools and other employers."

Research from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) on behalf of the Skills Funding Agency¹ revealed that apprenticeships will have contributed £34bn to the UK economy this year and bring benefits to the trainee, their employer and the state.

The Cebr study found apprentices are more likely to be in employment for longer and will receive higher earnings, commensurate with their level of training.

In Yorkshire and the Humber alone, the Cebr says apprenticeships will have contributed £3.7bn to the region's economy in 2014. In 2012/3, it found that Yorkshire had 103,820 apprentices, 11% of the UK total.

Career development opportunities for all Society colleagues include secondments with partner organisations, such as Leeds Rugby, which complement the business's in-house and external training provision.

Ends

Notes to Editors

With photo

Case studies (with photographs) of Leeds Building Society apprentices are available – please contact the press office on 0113 225 7903 for more details.

1Data contained in Economic impact of apprenticeships, A Cebr report for the Skills Funding Agency, November 2014.

Leeds Building Society has 67 branches throughout the UK, Gibraltar and Ireland and assets of £12.1bn (as at 30 June 2014). The Society has operated from the centre of Leeds since 1886.