Lloyds Banking Group are skilling up in all key tech areas with accredited degree apprentices
This year, Lloyds Banking Group is working with Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) to train 15 degree apprentices to provide digital skills right across their business. The financial services organisation intends to take similar numbers of degree apprentices in 2016 and 2017.
Damian Jacobs, Emerging Talent Manager, explained why Lloyds had chosen to partner with MMU: ‘The fact that MMU has already been accredited for their degree apprenticeship programme by the Tech Partnership was important to us. The rapid development of their programme meant they were ready to deliver when we needed them to. I have also found that MMU are very switched on in terms of delivering what our business needs’.
Lloyds are a member of the Tech Partnership and had worked on the specification of apprentice trailblazers before becoming involved in the degree apprenticeship specification. Damian explains the benefits of the employer network in being able to meet people from other companies with similar issues around digital skill gaps in their organisations. He gained very good guidance from the Tech Partnership, and also found value to be able to put ideas to government as one in a collective group of employers.
Lloyds wanted to support the degree apprenticeship programme, for the overall benefit of UK economy. The organisation has a strong apprentice community, currently with over 150 apprentices throughout the UK business. To recruit the degree apprentices, they posted advertisements on the Lloyds Banking Group website, gaining over 1000 applications. The recruitment process is rigorous, with psychometric tests, video interviews and then an assessment centre. They have moved away from the more standard competency tests to new ‘strengths’ tests to ensure that they recruit the best candidates for the degree apprenticeship places.
Damian explains that for specific roles in the company, degree apprentices may be preferable to other graduates:
‘Sometimes graduates will come to us having done their IT degree – but Lloyds will have to put in the work to ‘rewire’ them. With the degree apprentices – they are learning the digital skills that are customised to our business needs; so at the end of their degree, not only do they have the skills we need, but they also understand our business operations.’
The degree apprentices work in different departments right across the business, working on existing operations or on development of new business opportunities. The types of roles that they will go on to fulfil include desk top services, systems developers, technical infrastructure developers and business analysts. Once they have completed their degree at MMU, Lloyds aim to make them permanent staff members.