Citi is creating a route into banking for those at every stage of their career through professional apprenticeships.

In partnership with Multiverse, Citi has employed 32 apprentices across a range of programmes including Software Engineering, Project Management and Data Fellowship.

Jacqui Lloyd, Senior Vice President and Apprenticeship Lead at Citi, said: “We are really excited about the opportunities that Apprenticeships present to people at all stages of their lives and careers. At Citi, we have taken a unique approach to this and created a number of programmes which not only present exciting routes into a career in financial services, but also gain us access to distinctly different and diverse pools of talent.

“Our partnership with Multiverse has enabled us to create brilliant entry-level routes, as well as opportunities for people who have been on a career break and are looking to learn new skills in addition to moving into the next exciting phase of their careers, potentially in a new sector altogether! Recruiting truly diverse talent, and bringing in people with different perspectives and a range of experiences  is vital to the success of our business, but also enables us to develop future leaders and build critical skills for Citi.”

A route into banking for young people

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 increase diversity within their workforce.

To build a truly diverse talent pipeline, Citi needed to access a broader talent pool of brilliant candidates. They partnered with Multiverse to 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.

The Multiverse approach to recruitment focuses on core competencies and assesses 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 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.

Supporting established professionals on their Return to Work

Citi knows that hiring people from different backgrounds with diverse perspectives brings advantages to their teams.

With that in mind they launched a Return to Work Programme, a supportive hiring programme designed to help those that have taken a break transition into a career within financial services.

Thanks to a partnership with Multiverse, Citi is able to offer world-class training in key skills for the future like data analytics.

Embedding these digital skills into Citi’s workforce is crucial to their long-term strategy. The Multiverse 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.

"Not only am I back at work, I'm also learning something new"

Srilakshmi joined the Return to Work Programme after taking a three year break from work after having her second child. She was previously working in Supply Chain Management, but moved to Citi for a Project Management role while enrolled on the Data Fellowship apprenticeship.

After I had my second child, I decided to take a break to prioritise my family. After three years, it felt like the right time to get back to work - especially since everyone was working from home. That added flexibility made my decision easier.
I came across Citi’s Return to Work Programme with Multiverse, applied and got a role in the Project Management team. What stood out to me about the programme is that it's not only about getting back to work, it's also about upskilling. Not only am I back at work, I'm also learning something new through the Data Fellowship programme.
The first month was tough, but the support from the coach and the manager was key and they knew where I was coming from. The Multiverse coach, Josh, is extremely supportive and helpful - and my manager at Citi always made sure I had access to data to put into practice.
There’s also initiatives in place to make sure the return to work is as smooth as possible. For example, there’s a Buddy Scheme which I find really helpful.
The apprenticeship programme itself is very different from school. You're not just learning from a book, you're practically applying everything you study. Being in college involves a lot of theoretical concepts and repeating them in exams. But the best part about the apprenticeship is taking those concepts and applying them to your work.
What’s great about the Return to Work Programme is that it’s not just a bridge back into work, it’s also an opportunity to elevate your skills.

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Sakshi Garg previously worked as a developer, but took a six-year career break to start a family. Now, she is in a data role enrolled on the 18-month Multiverse Data Fellowship.

I took a career break from my work as a developer to start a family. After six years, I decided I was ready to go back to work. I was exploring my options but I thought my best bet would be to stick to what I knew and go for a role in IT.  Because of the career break I found it difficult to find an opportunity so I upskilled myself with the latest technologies.
I applied for the role with the Citi Return to Work Programme - despite never having worked in banking before. The application process was really straightforward, and what was particularly great was that they do not look at your career break as a flaw rather appreciate your past experience and skills along with how flexible you are with learning and adapting.
Through the Return to Work Programme, I secured a really good role in the Production Management and Service delivery team. This role is different from my previous one in terms of responsibilities so I always get the opportunity to learn more.
As part of the programme, I’m enrolled on the Data Fellowship. Coming back from a big career break, you sometimes feel that you might be rusty when it comes to skills. The fellowship plays a really important role in closing that gap, and making sure you are well supported through the transition. I get to revisit things which I used in previous roles but needed refreshing on. But on top of that, you learn new things from scratch which are completely new to me.
Everything I study is directly linked to my work.
My coach is really helpful. In our sessions and our 1-1s, he’s always on hand to support. He’s always happy to explain things and support me with the course content, as well as projects in my work.
All in all, it’s a fabulous programme that provides an excellent opportunity for everyone who has been out of work for two years or more, regardless of the reason. Some of the people in my cohort had a career break of around 10 years. I’m comfortable here - every day I’m thankful to Citi for this opportunity.