Since 2006, over 150 young people have become Apprentices with The Skills Company and BNY Mellon. Some of them are now senior managers, others are travelling the world and one is 2016 Banker of the Year.

As Elizabeth Potier explains, “when most people hear the term ‘apprentice’, what often springs to mind is a young adult, starting out in a profession such as plumbing, engineering or hairdressing”. Very few would think of a young person, of graduate calibre starting an entry level position with a global bank but that’s exactly what Elizabeth did. As a bright student with clear academic ability, her family assumed that she would go to university. Wanting to work and study, Elizabeth instead chose the Apprenticeship route, as she felt it would provide her with the experience and aptitude needed to succeed in a professional industry. More than half of the Apprentices at BNY Mellon have been with the company for over five years and almost half are now in management positions, demonstrating that “you can make it to the top, regardless of how you start”.

When she was just 18, Hannah Eves heard about Apprenticeships when The Skills Company visited her college. She joined BNY Mellon in 2007 in an entry level position. Nine years later, Hannah still works for the multi-national organisation, in a senior managerial role within the operations team. She has also successfully achieved a degree and a range of technical qualifications. As an Apprenticeship Ambassador, Hannah regularly visits schools and colleges, speaking to parents and young people. Passionate about the practical route and proud of her achievements, Hannah says “job experience plus industry qualifications is a formula that gives you an edge in a competitive market and helps to generate real opportunities to progress”.

A more recent recruit to the BNY Apprenticeship programme is 20 year old Thomas Tuohy, who became an Apprentice in November 2014. After considering his options, Thomas quickly realised that university wasn’t a path he wished to take; a more practical route that allowed him to earn qualifications and a wage appealed far more. Thomas was paired up with a buddy by BNY Mellon, who helped with all of his learning needs and the transition into working life. Now volunteering his time as a buddy for new Apprentices, Thomas speaks highly of the resources provided to him so far by BNY Mellon. A great manager, flexible time to complete his portfolio and quiet learning zones and spaces within the office have all allowed Thomas to progress onto an Advanced Apprenticeship in less than 18 months. He has his eye on a managerial position within the next five years and cannot recommend the Apprenticeship route enough to other young people, commenting that “it has opened doors for me, and it could do the same for you”.

A decade ago Sean Turner was one of BNY Mellon’s first Apprentices in the new Manchester office. The main appeal of the scheme to Sean was the ability to study for a degree as part of the Apprenticeship programme.  Since achieving his degree, Sean has worked across a range of business units and countries, from the USA to India and now holds a senior role in the organisation, as Head of European Cash/Liquidity Management. He manages a team of over 35 people, was named Banker of the Year 2016 at the recent Made in Manchester Awards and is still only 29 years old.

Speaking about his Apprenticeship journey, Sean said “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.” As Sean is demonstrating, the possibilities are endless.