Prudential’s Apprenticeship Programme was launched in 2012 in response to high levels of youth unemployment and is a pipeline for Prudential to bring new talent into the business. One of those talented individuals is 22-year-old Conor, who left the Army with a very uncertain future - but has now successfully completed the Prudential Apprenticeship Programme and gained full-time employment at Prudential’s offices in Stirling.
Conor joined the Army at the age of 18. He had ambitions to become a Police Officer but was told he needed “life experience”. He believed the Army was the best place to gain this experience, so he joined the Military Police. Unfortunately, Conor’s military career was cut short when he was medically discharged after sustaining an injury on a training exercise. On leaving, he spotted the Prudential Apprenticeship Programme and has never looked back.
With limited prospects and uncertainty on the job front after he left the Army, Conor said once he saw the advert for the Prudential Apprenticeship Programme, he knew it would be a great opportunity. He said what really stood out for him was the “learn and earn” aspect of the programme. After getting through various interviews Conor joined the programme in a role in Sales Support Apprentice in Craigforth (near Stirling).
Conor enjoyed the 12-month learning experience so much that he knew he wanted to stay with the company. “The programme was a mixture of coursework and then doing the job role itself, where I was mainly working alongside Financial Advisors. All this work culminated in a final project at the end of the year. What I enjoyed the most about the programme was learning new skills and the progression - starting from scratch and onto tasks with more responsibility and accountability. At the end of the programme an opportunity become available, I applied and got the job.”
Conor is still based in Craigforth and is a Systems Support Consultant, which is more IT- based than his previous role. “I enjoy the level of responsibility of the new role, people relying on you to get things done, if they have a problem, they can come to you to get things sorted.”
His experience in the Army was invaluable and he believes helped him stand out from others, giving him greater self-assurance in the selection process, throughout the Programme and in his new role. “My experience in the Army gave me a lot more confidence - nothing seems as difficult anymore. If you can sleep in a hole in the ground outside, then an IT test isn’t going to phase you!” he said.
Conor is not quite ready to leave his Army career behind and thanks to Prudential’s support for Reservists, he is in the process of joining the Reserves. “They are really supportive of ex-military and Reservists working here which is another reason the company is a great company to work for,” he added.
So why should ex-military personnel, in particular Early Service Leavers, apply for the Prudential Apprenticeship Programme?
Conor said: “It’s a fresh start and a great foundation. The Programme is a great stepping stone that could lead to a great career in a great company.”
The Prudential Apprenticeship Programme
Since the start of the programme Prudential have given the opportunity to 178 young people to get work ready. They offer a comprehensive training package of vocational and professional qualifications – with apprentices achieving a nationally recognised Advanced Apprenticeship qualification in Business Administration, IT, Accountancy or Providing Financial Services. Offices are located in Craigforth (near Stirling), London and Reading.
Apprentices follow a highly structured skills and development pathway - developing key business and technical specialist skills required for a particular business role, whilst also developing wider employability skills and life skills.
Apprentices recruited into the programme will spend 15 months gaining valuable work experience and acquiring skills and knowledge in one of the UK's most respected and recognised businesses, which will help with their future careers.
Prudential are looking for fully (aged 16 to 18 years) or partially funded (aged 19 to 23 years) apprentices from a variety of backgrounds, including the Armed Forces.