As university tuition fees continue to rise and today’s 16-to-18-year-olds become increasingly anxious about the level of debt a university education could plunge them into, more and more young people are exploring apprenticeships as an alternative career path.
I read an article online recently suggesting that over two-thirds of parents don’t feel confident that they know enough about apprenticeships to be able to advise their children of the different options to them. If true, this is a worrying statistic and shows just how valuable events taking place across England to mark National Apprenticeship Week are in respect of informing young people and their families.
I joined BNY Mellon as an apprentice just over a decade ago at the age of 18. After finishing my A-Levels, I didn’t know what direction to go in. BNY Mellon was opening in Manchester and it was an exciting time to get involved. I didn’t want to embark on a career or a degree in something I wasn’t sure I wanted to do. The opportunity to gain further qualifications while working really attracted me to do an apprenticeship.
One of things which appealed about BNY Mellon’s apprenticeship scheme, and which many young people might not realise is an option, is the opportunity to study for a degree as part of the training if this is something which you are keen to do.
The first few years of my apprenticeship focused on learning the basics about the financial services industry and developing my general business skills. During this time, I regularly spoke with my manager and mentor about my career development and I was offered the opportunity to study for a degree in Financial Services, Planning and Management from Manchester Metropolitan University.
Achieving a formal qualification was not something I considered at 18, but a few years into my career at BNY Mellon it was the perfect development opportunity and timing in my life.
Since then, I’ve been given the opportunity to work in different departments across the business, including overseas in places like India and the US, gaining valuable experience of the many different facets of the company along the way and working my way up the ladder.
Because of these experiences and training, I now hold a senior role as Head of European Cash/Liquidity Management and manage a team of over 35 people. I’m only 29. And last month, the pinnacle of my career so far, I was named Banker of the Year at the 2016 Made in Manchester Awards.
Apprenticeships are a great way to start and build a strong career in business. I would encourage everyone, from school leavers to those looking for a change of job, to find out more about where an apprenticeship could take them.
If you are interested in joining BNY Mellon’s Manchester office as an apprentice, please visit www.bnymellon.com/careers and search ‘apprenticeship.’ Alternatively contact The Skills Company on 0161 233 2645 or click here.
To join the National Apprenticeship Week conversation, follow the hashtag #NAW2016 on Twitter or follow @Apprenticeships