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Santander launches apprenticeship scheme for school leavers and existing staff

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Banking company Santander is piloting an apprenticeship scheme with 50 apprentices being recruited into the bank and a further 100 internal vacancies offered as apprenticeships to existing staff.

The Santander Apprenticeship Scheme is open to people of any age and successful applicants will join a work-based training programme at the company's offices in Bootle and Bradford in both the business and retail banking divisions.

Lasting up to two years and leading to a nationally recognised qualification, the scheme offers a variety of apprenticeships: a customer service or business administration technical certificate or a financial services professional qualification.

Santander is working with providers Intraining and Skills Solutions to design the apprenticeship frameworks to develop and demonstrate an individual's level of experience, skills and knowledge in their everyday roles and are benchmarked at national level within the financial services sector.

Some of the core skills delivered through the scheme will be communicating using customer service language, following the rules to deliver customer service, promoting additional services or products to customers, delivering reliable customer service, recognising and dealing with customer queries, requests and problems and developing customer relationships.

Cameron Bird, HR operations director, Santander, said: "We expect this pilot to be extremely popular and intend to take the learnings to create a nationwide Apprenticeship Scheme next year. Apprenticeships will then become an integral part of our 'Early in Career' programme which focuses on 16 year old school leavers, A Level students and graduates."