1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
My current role is Specialist Business Manager - providing excellent service to our business customers & addressing their various needs. Day to day this involves me taking/making calls to deal with customers. The tasks I help customers with can range from quick general account queries to complex lending applications which can take a long time to understand & process.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have developed my communication skills, by business analysis skills have vastly improved & my understanding of banking as a whole has also vastly improved. I have improved my communication & writing skills in both writing up reports and completing applications , I am constantly learning as part of my role and the apprenticeship compliments this. Working through the English modules has improved the quality of my writing and punctuation. The workbooks have improved my knowledge of the wider banking world.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I do enjoy the programme, anything that I can get my teeth into and learn new information/skills is a huge win for me. with the programme I am constantly learning about way to approach my work and providing a greater understanding of banking. Working through the English modules has improved the quality of my writing. The workbooks are directly improving my knowledge of the wider banking world.
4. How valued do you feel by Lloyds Banking Group?
I feel very valued at Lloyds. I have been lucky enough to take part in several 'extra circicular' activities with the bank, the apprenticeship I am on now as well as the Talent Academy where I attended quarterly events highlighting progression within the group. I have also had the opportunity to complete several roles within the bank, specifically Business Banking, so have managed to collate a wide range of skills and knowledge.
5. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My in the role training has been great, I have had one on one support from the existing SBM colleagues but also the independence to learn from myself and by doing which suits me perfectly as I can structure my learning to suit my approach. The management have been equally supportive, sructuring key learning and training events but providing the autonomy to tructure the remainder myself.
In regards to the apprenticeship programmer ufortunately there has been a distinct lack of structure through having several LearnDirect trainers over the past year.
6a. How much support do you receive from your training provider?
This has been a downfall in my experience of the apprenticeship, the LearnDirect training providers I have had have all been great however during the first year of my course I have had 3 different trainers so consistency has been an issue for me as every 3 months or so they have switched to someone else and the process appears to begin again. I am hopeful however with my new training provider this will be a smoother transition and the suport will come from their.
6b. How much support do you receive from your employer?
My employers were great with supporting me, my senior manager was the one who put me forward for this and pushed me to take part which was great. Once I began my course my manager was great in arranging time off of the phone & rooms for meeting my various coaches. There was a small issue with time off the phone to complete the coursework required wherein my areas planning team were not notified of the 20% off the job time required, my manager resolved this and we were able to have this scheduled in and continue to do so.
7. How well does your salary/package meet your costs?
My salary/ package meets my costs well; it more than amply supports my living expenses and costs associated with me carrying out my role ie travel, uniform etc. The package itself is competitive with 'flexi-cash' you can either take as an addition to your salary or use for a variety of benefits pre tax. There are also great share options as well as awards when the group has a strong year. The bonus scheme is also very competitive.
8. Are there many opportunities outside of work?
Not so much, there are ad hoc charity events & occasional conference/external training opportunities however these are few and far between.
9. Would you recommend Lloyds Banking Group to a friend?
I feel it is a great company to work for, they really invest in their colleagues through apprenticeships, recognition events etc. The role really suits people people and every day is different.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to Lloyds Banking Group?
Prepare yourself, Lloyds hold very high standards so being able to evidence you hold the same values are key. Uderstanding the group is vital, evidence that you have researched the challenges and triumphs. Utilise the STAR format with your work examples for the interview. Research the role & show this in your application/interview.
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