Unity Trust Bank marks National Apprenticeship Week 2024

National Apprenticeship Week 2024 is a week-long celebration that brings together businesses and apprentices across the country to shine a light on the positive impact that apprenticeships make to individuals, organisations and the wider economy.

Unity Trust Bank’s apprenticeship scheme has seen many former apprentices progressing to permanent roles within the bank.

This National Apprenticeship Week, Unity Trust Bank is celebrating the success of former apprentice Jack Clews, who has now worked at Unity for eight years and is a Relationship Manager in the bank’s South regional team.

Jack says: “I joined Unity in November 2016 as a Banking Operations apprentice, as part of the bank’s 12-month apprenticeship scheme. I’d considered applying to university after my A-Levels, but after seeing details of Unity’s apprenticeship scheme online, I realised that this would be a better option for me, despite not having considered a career in finance.”

Unity is an ethical and socially responsible bank, with a mission to create a better society through lending. Jack was instantly attracted to the values and ethos of the business, which reflected his own personal motivations.

Jack continues: “The overarching values of Unity are truly motivating and the business has always been so encouraging and supportive of my goals. From day one, I was given the opportunity to gain real, hands-on experience and take on new responsibilities, which led to my promotion to High Risk Officer following the successful completion of my apprenticeship.

“From there, I progressed to Commercial Banking Officer and today, I’m a Relationship Manager in the South region, with a broad customer portfolio of around 60 businesses. As a people person, it’s so rewarding to support customers who are delivering real change in their communities, and it’s incredible to think that an apprenticeship has led me to a career I love.”

As part of its commitment to developing future talent, Unity offers full financial support for training courses and professional qualifications where required, and provides apprentices with five days paid study leave to support their learning.

Jack says: “During my time at Unity, I’ve completed two professional qualifications which were fully funded by the business. In August last year, I gained a Certificate in Business Banking from the London Institute of Banking & Finance and in December, I gained a Moody’s Certificate in Commercial Lending and Credit Reasoning & Writing.

“These qualifications have been a vital stepping stone to further career progression and I was fully supported during my studies. I also have a mentor within the bank who offers his time for regular check-in sessions, and this ongoing advice and support is invaluable. I think the key to success is finding the role you enjoy – if you love what you do, then you’ll naturally progress and thrive. My ultimate career goal is to be a CEO so, for me, the sky’s the limit!”

Julia Tarpey, Director of HR at Unity Trust Bank, says:

“At Unity, we have a strong commitment to employee development so we can continue to best serve our staff and customers. We’re incredibly proud of our apprenticeship programme and the opportunities it provides for young people at the start of their careers. Jack is a brilliant example of someone who has really grasped the opportunity with both hands, and eight years on, it’s wonderful to see him achieve so many professional goals within the business.

“As an ethical bank, we only lend to socially-minded organisations that share our values and deliver quantifiable impact. In 2022, we committed £13.8m of lending to the Skills, Education and Employment sector. As a result of our lending across the UK, 476 jobs were created and protected, and there were 30 successful placements into apprenticeships, training and internships. We’re proud to empower our customers to create these opportunities in their own communities, opening doors to new career paths and professional development.”