Last September, our client Gatehouse Bank welcomed their first six apprentices. These ambitious school leavers were recruited from Gateway, Visionpath's bespoke apprenticeship programme with the bank. We caught up with Risk & Compliance Assistant Riaz Mohamed, to hear more about his apprenticeship experience so far.
Riaz, what have you learned about yourself since beginning your apprenticeship?
I have learned that I work well under pressure and can effectively manage my time and tasks. Time management I feel is key when working in the financial sector. Since starting the apprenticeship I have developed confidence with regards to adapting to change and being proactive to business objectives. Furthermore I have learnt to understand the importance of adding values, and building relationships is a key part of that.
What skills and knowledge have you developed so far?
I have developed a vast range of interpersonal skills alongside an increasing knowledge of each department and their roles in the bank. I feel that through my day to day work I have also generated a good knowledge of the banks Shariah principles and what sets Gatehouse Bank aside from its competitors.
What is it like working for Gatehouse Bank as an apprentice?
We are treated as colleagues and are actively involved in the bank’s day to day work. Managers are understanding of our apprenticeship commitments, so time is allocated for our college work.
What three things are you enjoying most about your role?
1) The responsibility, because I feel actively involved in ensuring the bank’s risks are identified and mitigated.
2) The experience, due to the fact that I am one of 6 in total that were chosen out of the 20 candidates on the assessment day.
3) The work, as my manager has delegated me with certain documents that I update and maintain regularly.
How would you describe your overall experience with the Gateway programme and subsequently with Gatehouse Bank?
The Gateway programme was well planned as contact was kept with candidates from start to finish. The first meeting was the most beneficial as we were taught about Gatehouse Bank’s Shariah principles and products they offer. The mentoring process that followed was also well planned and provided a good insight with regards to what it’s like to work in the UK’s financial services sector.
What advice would you give to those considering an apprenticeship in ethical finance?
Do your research on the positions being offered and identify if it's for you. Get to terms with the principles of ethical financing and be in a position where you can comfortably explain it to others. Understand you will still have to study and revise alongside the work you are completing for your manager or department.