Apprentice Melanie Jones
Melanie was one of the first ever apprentices to undertake the Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship/Retail Banking pathway in Providing Financial Services, and will be one of the first to achieve this Apprenticeship within Santander.
During the course of her Apprenticeship, Melanie has achieved a competence qualification at L3 aligned to her day to day activity in the workplace, via one of the specialist pathways in retail banking, and two technical exams, including continued study towards a professional banking qualification.
Santander UK was keen to engage in the Apprenticeship arena, as they very much saw this as a great way to help ensure that their staff mirrored their customer base as much as possible. They also recognise that there are some highly talented individuals who are looking to enter the world of work at a younger age than in the past. They continue to be impressed with positive responses from their Apprenticeship learner surveys, which show that their young recruits are recognising the strong correlation between their learning and daily work activity.
Marcus Lee, Head of Resourcing and Early in Career at Santander, said: “Following the successful pilot in 2012, we are delighted to continue with our Apprenticeship programme to include more candidates from across the country this year. These roles provide people with invaluable work experience, supported by a permanent contract along with professional development and the benefit of a nationally recognised qualification.
“Our aim is to offer excellent customer service, and we’re looking for people with real energy and passion to help us deliver a great experience for our customers every day. The Apprenticeship programme is a fantastic way to get into the banking sector and can be the first step to a long-term career with a successful global company.”
Melanie works as a business banking consultant for Santander UK PLC. The business banking division employs around 400 staff across two sites.
Melanie started her career with Santander back in 2006 when the company was previously called Abbey. Her job role back then was processing bank accounts, savings accounts and loan applications for personal customers. When Abbey was taken over by Santander, Melanie was then offered a change of role as a business banking consultant where her duties again included processing bank accounts as well as dealing with savings accounts applications.
Melanie was part of the first intake of apprentices in 2013. She thought the standard of training carried out was excellent, saying:
“We couldn’t have asked for better tutors, they provide brilliant training sessions and are always on hand to help out if needed. They have been so organized throughout and have an in-depth knowledge of the exams and material, but also the industry as a whole. Most importantly, they are friendly and approachable.”
“Since completing the Apprenticeship, I have found my knowledge of the company has increased greatly by learning about my role in more depth within the different units covered”
Melanie’s manager Lesley said
“Since Melanie began her Apprenticeship, she has grown in confidence both with our customers and colleagues. Her knowledge and skills have expanded across her skill set, and Melanie is more aware of the banking industry.”
Melanie finished off by saying
“I’d definitely recommend both working at Santander and the support of Skills Solutions throughout the programme. I think I have gained so much experience and grown in confidence and ability since I started. It is a great way to start your career and I can only see Apprenticeships becoming more popular.”
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