We also co-developed a cyber security programme with Per Scholas to encourage skills in an area of technology that is exploding. The results have been fantastic – so far, through the programme, we have hired 14 people to take part in six-month internships, in addition to the dozen people that we previously hired.
Michelle was the first person we hired from Per Scholas. She joined us five years ago and watching her grow into her role in my team has been amazing. From the moment she walked in, she showed a real hunger to learn, and that’s why she has been so successful. Michelle has worked in several departments at Barclays and is now a Cyber and Information Security Analyst – so she’s responsible for dealing with cyber issues within the bank.
After the success of Michelle’s appointment, we organised a series of mock interviews for Per Scholas students. Our Barclays team told us how great they were, commenting that it was a shame we couldn’t hire them – so we decided to do just that. We recruited several students to one of our apprenticeship programmes four years ago and haven’t looked back! We still have a programme of mock interviews, but we augment that with guest lecturing, career advice, and course development.
The most important thing about the Per Scholas programme is that it helps Barclays as a business to diversify. Over 40% of those we’ve employed are female and almost all are from ethnic minority backgrounds, which is great as the technology sector in New York is not as diverse as it should be. It’s integral to have people with a different point of view, and a variety of experiences, to help us think a little differently.
The impact of the programme has been huge: we’ve managed to give people much-need jobs and solve problems here at the bank. What a winning combination that is.
The best part of the project is meeting the graduates at the end of their course and seeing the impact it’s had on them. So many people have told me that by believing in them, and giving them a chance, we’ve changed their lives.