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Master's Apprenticeship at Barclays

Cranfield University has partnered with Barclays to launch the UK’s first Master’s Apprenticeship in Leadership in the banking sector


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Propelled into change by the 2008 financial crash and the march of Fintech, the banking sector more than any other faces disruption. To meet the challenges ahead it needs strong and agile leadership that is adept at innovation and attuned to the times.

Strong leadership is not ‘command and control’ leadership – a style we hope is disappearing though one that many find difficult to shake off. The times today demand leadership devolved deep into organizations, based on empowering managers to take decisions and deal with issues as they arise themselves, without pushing decision-making up the hierarchy.

The banking sector is no different from others in that many efficient functional managers fall into leadership positions of authority and responsibility without having been provided with any appropriate training and development. The lack of executive training and education across all sectors was highlighted by the OECD as one of the causes of the UK's poor productivity and has been one of the main prompts for the new Apprenticeship Levy.

The Apprenticeship initiative is now starting bear fruit as witnessed by the launch of the Master’s Apprenticeship in Leadership, pioneered by Cranfield University in partnership with Barclays which makes the bank the first of its kind to offer this level of apprenticeship.

The master’s-level apprenticeship will see an initial intake of 30 Barclays employees study for an MSc in Business and Strategic Leadership. The two-year scheme will allow candidates to gain a master’s-level qualification whilst working and earning, to help further their career, increase potential earning power and become future leaders within the business.

Professor Lynette Ryals, Director of Cranfield School of Management, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to partner Barclays on its master’s-level apprenticeship… 

the first postgraduate apprenticeship for the banking sector.”

Mike Thompson, Head of Apprenticeships for Barclays comments: “We’re thrilled to be the first UK bank to offer apprentices the chance to undertake a master’s degree, whilst continuing the great work they do at Barclays.”

“The apprenticeship will allow candidates to gain a master’s-level qualification whilst continuing to apply the skills and knowledge learned in a workplace environment. On top of this, the scheme will enable us to create senior leaders of the future and make these positions within the business more accessible to people who may not have previously had the opportunity. Furthermore, our apprentices will be able to continue earning whilst they learn without incurring the debt traditionally associated with a master’s degree, opening up postgraduate education to a people from a wider range of socio-economic backgrounds.”

As well as working on modules such as Organizational Behaviour, Strategy and Finance, apprentices will be able to learn vital on-the job skills that will equip them for senior leadership roles within various sectors of the business. Additionally, apprentices who successfully complete the programme will achieve CMI Chartered Fellow Status.

Learn more about Masterships® – the Master’s level apprenticeship opportunities with Cranfield

Thinking: brilliantly applied for the decade ahead

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