Bank ‘widens diversity of workforce’ with trainees

The Bank of Scotland New Deal coordinator has praised trainees as loyal employees and wants to expand the numbers taken on by the company.

It is to begin taking on New Dealers in England following the successful employment of trainees in Scotland, where most of its recruitment takes place.

But following restructuring and mergers with a number of subsidiaries, the bank now believes there is scope to employ New Dealers in the North West.

Associate director Isla Philp, who coordinates New Deal for the Bank of Scotland, said the business regarded taking part in New Deal as a social responsibility.

But she said the initiative also offered benefits to employers. “The obvious advantage is that you often get a very loyal employee because you have given him or her an opportunity. It also helps to widen the diversity of your workforce, which is important.”

Philp said 13 out of 20 trainees had successfully been employed. “We made it quite clear from the beginning that we were not likely to recruit a lot of New Dealers, but we were keen to support the initiative,” she said.

“I would like more eventually, but that is for us to deal with and I think it does take time.”

Last month, employers told the House of Commons education and employment committee that the ability of New Deal to supply “work ready” trainees is vital to its long-term success (Personnel Today, 27 June).

Philp said, “We need the Government to make the gateway more intensive and I believe it is refocusing its efforts on that.

“Another key issue is referrals. I don’t want to see referrals being made just because there is a skills match. They have to want to work in the sector. Sometimes people are presented to you who just don’t want to work in the sector, and there also needs to be attitude match.”

The Education and Employment Committee was this week due to publish a new report, The New Deal for Young People.

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