Barclays launches Bolder Apprentices 01 Sep 2015 09:00 Barclays is the first UK company to extend their apprenticeship programme to the over 24s - recognising that apprenticeships are a viable route into employment for everybody and age or social circumstances shouldn’t be a deciding factor. Mike Thompson, Director of Apprenticeships at Barclays comments the importance of creating opportunities for older apprentices: “It has been widely reported that that we are facing a chronic skills shortage in the UK. The Government has suggested that based on current employer plans we will need to fill 13.5 million job vacancies in the next ten years, but only seven million young people will leave school and college in that time. (1) “We have to address this, we have to find alternatives and we have to provide opportunities to unlock the talent that is being underutilised across all age brackets.” (1) Working Futures 2010-2020, UKCES https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/303434/evidence-report-41-working-futures-2010-2020.pdf Mike Thompson, Director of Apprenticeships at Barclays comments the creation of Bolder Apprenticeships: “Once out of work, older workers face a much tougher task to find the opportunities to get back into full employment again. We believe that age or social circumstances shouldn’t be a barrier or deciding factor in finding a viable route to employment. Reskilling can be achieved at any age. “Barclays has launched the Bolder Apprenticeship programme to demonstrate our commitment to creating career opportunities regardless of age. From today, we want to start a conversation with other businesses to increase collaboration, regardless of sector or industry, to address how we can maximise the valuable contribution older workers make.” Minister for Pensions, Baroness Altmann says regarding Bolder apprenticeships: “Having a diverse workforce – including an age diverse workforce – enables a business to reflect its customer base; to better understand and better serve its whole range of clients. I am delighted that Barclays has recognised this and is actively seeking to recruit people of all ages. “As we can look forward to living longer, we need to re-think what ‘old’ looks like – the traditional stereotypes of people over 50 no longer apply. It is never too late to learn new skills, take on new challenges and live life to the full.” About Barclays Barclays is an international financial services provider engaged in personal, corporate and investment banking, credit cards and wealth management with an extensive presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.With 325 years of history and expertise in banking, Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs over 130,000 people. Barclays moves, lends, invests and protects money for customers and clients worldwide. For further information about Barclays, please visit our website www.barclays.com.