Ipswich: Banking on a profitable future

IPSWICH: A unique opportunity has been created through our 100 in 100 Apprenticeship campaign to work within a company that has its roots firmly embedded within the local community.

The Ipswich Building Society is defying the doom and gloom experienced by rivals in the financial sector, and chief executive Paul Winter believes it is because he and his staff are more accountable to the members they serve.

And now he is offering two youngsters the chance to join the team and gain an understanding of the financial sector from the bottom up.

Mr Winter said: “We have signed up to take on two apprentices within our branch network and we will help them work towards their NVQ Level 2 in retail financial services.

“This is a chance to work for an organisation that is very much rooted in the community they come from, one that is close to its members.”

The company is one of more than 20 that have supported The Evening Star’s 100 in 100 Apprenticeship campaign – aimed at creating 100 new jobs for out-of-work youngsters in 100 days – and between them they are offering nearly 60 jobs.

But there is still a long way to go to reach our goal before the campaign draws to a close in April.

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The new Ipswich Building Society recruits will be the first-ever apprentices to train with the team and Mr Winter explained why they have taken the bold step forward.

“All employers like ourselves have a responsibility to try to help young people get into work and get trained for the future.

“We are expecting to recruit someone who has left school not wanting to do A-Levels or someone who started an A-Level course and found it wasn’t the right path for them.

“Obviously, it will be someone who wants a career in financial services and someone who is comfortable with numbers but it is more about their attitude and their desire to get on in life.”

Last year Ipswich Building Society saw itsoverall savings balances grow by �83million to �458m while their total assets topped nearly �500m, representing an increase of eight per cent compared with the previous year.

Mortgage lending by the society grew by 10pc to �80m, bucking a trend in the market which has seen a shortage of mortgage finance blamed for a relatively low level of activity in the UK housing market.

Both apprentice vacancies are currently being advertised through the National Apprenticeship Service, who are our campaign partners. Register at www.apprenticeships.org.uk for the chance to apply for these and other exciting opportunities created through the 100 in 100 scheme.

n Are you struggling to get on the first rung of the career ladder? Call the newsdesk on 01473 324736 or e-mail to starletters@eveningstar.co.uk.