Barclays will launch a degree-level apprenticeship in banking later this year, the UK's first such offering.
The programme will allow participants to study for a degree, or equivalent qualification, should they choose and will let them specialise in a range of areas of banking, including corporate, investment and retail.
"We want people of all ages and backgrounds to consider a career in banking – a sector that we know is traditionally viewed as something only university graduates work in," said Mike Thompson, head of apprentices for Barclays. "That's why we plan to launch the UK’s first degree-level apprenticeship in banking; to open up banking to people from all backgrounds, allowing them to earn and learn, without racking up student debt."
A survey run on behalf of the lending giant, whose already existing apprenticeship scheme has had almost 3,000 participants since it launched in 2012, revealed just over a third (37 per cent) of parents were aware their kids could take up financial-focused apprenticeships, compared with over three-quarters (77 per cent) who knew of apprenticeships for plumbing and two-thirds (66 per cent) who were aware of the career route for hairdressing.
Meanwhile, almost half (47 per cent) of parents and over two thirds (68 per cent) of teachers are not discussing apprenticeships as a viable career path, and three out of five (60 per cent) students surveyed said they thought their parents would be disappointed in them if they chose not to attend university.
However, recent figures cited by the bank show apprenticeships earn a mere 1.8 per cent less over their lifetime than those with a degree and significantly more than those with no qualifications higher than A-Levels.