Higher Apprenticeships

12 October 2015

Welsh businesses lead the way to achieve the UK’s first Higher Apprenticeship in Banking

Two of Wales’ reputable businesses are celebrating the success of six Principality Building Society Apprentices achieving the Higher Apprenticeship in Banking – Level 4; a first in the UK

Acorn, one of the UK’s leading specialist recruitment and training agencies, and Principality Building Society joined forces to create a bespoke apprenticeship programme. The Diploma was undertaken over 18 months by six Principality managers who were nominated by Principality’s senior managers and HR division. It enabled students to explain key legislative, regulatory and risk factors applicable to retail financial services and understand the implications and operational implementation of Retail Banking.

The qualification, which is accredited by the Institute of Financial Services (IFS), was undertaken by Andrew McGill from Blackwood, Ceri Thomas from Caerphilly, Laura Palmer from Hereford, Carrie Ann Morris from Oswestry and Maria Vidler and Andrew Gay both from Cardiff.

In recognition of their success, all apprentices were congratulated by Julie James, Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology and AM for Swansea West, at a celebratory event on the 6th October at the Wales Millennium Centre.

Julie James said: “I would like to congratulate each and every one of the apprentices on their achievements. The success of these learners is truly a testament to the hard work of all involved from Acorn and Principality Building Society. These two Welsh companies have worked together to be the first in the UK to achieve this Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship; this is great news for Wales and really establishes that Apprenticeships have a significant place within the financial industry.”

Helena Williams, Acorn’s Corporate Development Director, said: “We are delighted with the success of our Banking Apprentices.  We have collaborated with Principality Building Society on Apprenticeships for a number of years, delivering Foundation Apprenticeships at Level 2 and Apprenticeships at Level 3 so when the Higher Apprenticeship in Banking – Level 4 became available; it seemed a natural progression to pilot it with them.”

She added: “Everyone at Acorn and Principality Building Society worked extremely hard to design a delivery model around these national standards, and to ensure it was relevant and beneficial for all involved.  The apprentices gave their all to ensure they completed the qualification, and the support from the Principality’s Senior Managers and Directors was truly outstanding. The level of commitment that the building society showed to develop their people using Apprenticeships is innovative, and one of the main reasons why we’re the first in the UK to achieve this success.”

Damian Thompson, Principality’s Director of Distribution, who is responsible for the Society’s 53 branches and 18 agencies, commented: “By working closely with Acorn on the creation of this apprenticeship programme we were really able to ensure that the curriculum was appropriately tailored to our business and customer needs.

“All of our branch managers who took part in this programme worked extremely hard to achieve their Diplomas – we are extremely proud of their success and are looking forward to seeing them continue to strive and develop within Principality Building Society.”

Mae'r Rhaglenni Prentisiaeth, Hyfforddeiaeth a Thwf Swyddi Cymru, a arweinir gan Lywodraeth Cymru, yn cael cymorth ariannol gan Gronfa Gymdeithasol Ewrop

The Apprenticeship, Traineeship and Jobs Growth Wales Programmes, led by the Welsh Government, are supported by the European Social Fund.

Published: 12/10/2015