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A new career in banking for the over 50s

by on February 12, 2015

Hot on the heels of the Missing Millions Report that highlighted the difficulties faced by older people seeking paid work, comes the announcement that Barclays Bank has launched a new apprenticeship scheme for people over 50 who want a career in the City. According to this section of the Barclays website, the company already offers apprenticeships ‘aimed at young people aged 16+’ and they say they ‘recruit based on attitude and potential rather than experience and qualifications’. So the latest announcement would seem to be additional apprenticeships aimed at the over-50s.

According to this article in the Daily Mail, the bank will take on middle-aged trainees, such as former maths teachers and accountants, who will be expected to work their way from the bottom up. The Sunday Times, which also covered this story,  reports though that the bank is considering whether these older recruits should earn more than the usual starter pay for apprentices aged 16-24. This is about £9.15 an hour in London and £7.85 elsewhere.

It certainly offers an alternative to the ‘B&Q’ option which for so long has been proffered by some as an ideal job for older workers. And it’s very welcome to see the idea of mid / late life career change being embraced. The prospect of differential rates of pay based on age (or experience?) seems likely to raise some eyebrows. As usual the Daily Mail comments on the article are well worth a read too. Here are a selection:

  • ‘About time to! Shame it’s banking’
  • ’50 isn’t middle age’
  • ‘Love this. It’s never too late to change your life!’
  • ‘Is this some sort of joke by Barclays? They don’t spend much time training their young staff so why do so for older people with “existing life skills”. is this just a ruse to pay older, more experienced staff low apprenticeship level wages?’

I expect we’ll see more on this as apparently two more ‘household name’ firms are set to announce apprenticeship schemes for older workers in the coming weeks.

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