Goldman Sachs will begin training apprentices directly in its London trading floor for the first time next year, fueling wider efforts to boost social mobility in the UK financial sector.
The program, which is part of an apprenticeship program launched in partnership with Queen Mary University in London, will combine paid on-the-job training and four-year study, providing students with the opportunity to acquire a practical experience in a sector still in difficulty. attract candidates from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The program, which opens for recruitment on Monday, comes nearly a year after the Treasury and the Ministry of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy launched an independent task force to address the lack of socio-diversity. -economics in financial and professional services, after research found that just under half of the city’s senior positions were held by white men who attended independent or selective public schools.
A 2019 KPMG study also found that 41% of people working in finance in the UK had parents in the same industry, far more than the national average of 12%, raising concerns about the lack of access to City roles for less privileged students. .
“As an industry, we are still not doing well enough in attracting students from a more diverse socio-economic background,” said Daniel Freckleton, managing director of global markets at Goldman Sachs.
“There is of course an interaction between socio-economic background and ethnic minorities, so working to improve social mobility in our recruitment process is likely to have benefits for our racial diversity as well,” he said. added. Freckleton is one of the few black CEOs in the bank’s London trading room. He is the main sponsor of the apprenticeship program.
While some banks have launched apprenticeship programs in the UK, most have focused on back office roles. Goldman’s program is considered the first program to bring interns directly into the trading floor of an investment bank.
The Goldman program will begin by selecting 10 applicants to start the program in September 2022, with the possibility of increasing its cohort in subsequent years. Students will earn a “competitive” annual salary alongside their studies and be entitled to a bonus, helping to avoid student debt, by working five days a week in the trading room.
They will also study at the Queen Mary School of Economics and Finance for two one-week “teaching sprints” per semester. The academic program will include lectures and assessments, covering topics ranging from asset pricing to machine learning.
Goldman will pay for the move and equipment such as books and laptops as needed, to help students who might otherwise have difficulty meeting the costs of formal training. Applicants will also be eligible for a full-time position with Goldman upon completion of their degree course.
Recruitment is open to students from all academic backgrounds, but will largely target people from public education.
“We want to attract the brightest and best students from as diverse a talent pool as possible – it’s the diversity of socio-economic backgrounds as much as anything else,” said Freckleton.
“Unfortunately, we’re currently missing out on a lot of that talent, either because students are turned off by the traditional recruiting process, the financial barriers of studying college, or simply because they’re unaware of the types of talent. jobs that Goldman has. to offer them.