It can be challenging for young people to get into the banking industry. The competition for entry-level jobs is high, and non-graduate talent often experience severe barriers to employment when trying to break into this sector. As a result, businesses risk having a homogeneous workforce that predominantly consists of people with similar backgrounds - with a cost to business performance.
Citi realised they could create an alternative route to the boardroom for young people from different backgrounds through apprenticeships. Since 2015, it’s also been one of Citi’s top strategic priorities to introduce a greater diversity within their workforce.
The Apprenticeship Levy - an additional payroll tax set at 0.5% of a UK employer’s annual pay bill - presented Citi with an exciting opportunity to fully fund the training of new hires and existing employees.
To build a truly diverse talent pipeline, Citi needed to access a broader talent pool of brilliant candidates , who they normally wouldn’t be able to access on their own. They partnered with Multiverse to reach and identify these rising stars and equip them with the skills of the future, all paid for with the Apprenticeship Levy.
Multiverse’s outreach programmes attracted non-graduate candidates to apply to Citi’s apprenticeship roles, while the rigorous application process helped identify those with the highest potential. Duleep Adhihetty, one of the Software Engineering apprentice’s line managers, says:
“We have been really impressed with how you have done the selection, the quality of the candidates, and how well prepared they were. Full credit to Multiverse!”
The way that Multiverse assesses potential is similar to none, focussing on core competencies and assessing the candidate’s intent and drive to learn, regardless of whether they attended a high-performing school or not. Their Multiverse digital profile showcases whether they are an academic outperformer - someone who is in the top 30% of their school GCSE cohort - and if they experienced any barriers to learning.
The Multiverse team also invests time supporting candidates with polishing their interview skills, which are integral for successful outcomes.
That’s how Citi hired 13 excellent young professionals into apprenticeships in Data, Software Engineering, Project Management and Business Administration.
Grant Bradley, a hiring manager for Citi’s Software Engineering apprenticeship, has been impressed with a diverse group of candidates:
"I feel Multiverse did a fantastic job selecting and preparing the candidates for the interviews! It was a real eye-opener to see the potential of these young people. It was a hard decision - in an ideal world it would have been great to offer a position to more Multiverse candidates. I wish them all the best in the future!"
Embedding digital skills into Citi’s workforce is crucial to their long-term strategy. That’s why choosing to run Multiverse’s Software Engineering apprenticeship at Citi was a no-brainer. The programme enables the bank to acquire digital skills that are in extremely high demand and short in supply as well as democratising access to the banking industry.
Mustafa, Software Engineering apprentice at Citi, says:
“I wanted to participate in an apprenticeship to gain first-hand experience as a software engineer, which is a career I have always hoped to pursue. Having initially tried university I liked the learning style of an apprenticeship where you can implement what you have learned straight away.”
Jamie W, Software Engineering apprentice at Citi, says:
“I wanted to participate in an apprenticeship because I knew it would offer me the practical experience that university couldn't. I knew that I understood what I'd learnt at school, but I wanted a chance to test it in a real life environment."
At the end of the programme, apprentices will achieve not only industry recognised professional qualifications, but also develop crucial soft skills.
Shanie, Software Engineering apprentice at Citi, says:
“As a technical specialist, the skills needed to succeed are not just limited to my technical ability. It’s also important to work well and contribute in a team, as well as learn to problem solve and these are some of the skills I am developing on my apprenticeship."
The Multiverse benefits extend beyond hiring, supporting and training - our active online Community helps Citi’s apprentices stay inspired and motivated even after they are done with the course. We know that it helps our apprentices achieve more: 91% receive a promotion or pay rise whilst on programme. The Community also enriches the lifelong learning culture within Citi, and enables a diverse group of future leaders to build strong networks, supporting their personal growth and professional development.
Get in touch with our team.