School Leaver Programmes

Going to university and pursuing a degree is not the only option available to bright students. With the significant cost of a degree combined with its potential devaluation, you may want at least to consider your options. There are a number of firms offering very attractive School Leaver Programmes. These are well paid and you may find run parallel to many graduate schemes. They have the attraction of being less competitive at A level entry, therefore gaining you entry into an organisation that you may struggle to secure as a graduate, when the competition is fiercer. You will also be debt free. These schemes are becoming increasingly popular with employers. 






Schemes include:

Asset Management: Aberdeen Operations Apprenticeship

aberdeenlogoAberdeen Asset Management is a global investment management group, managing assets for both institutional and retail clients from offices around the world. and offer an Operations Apprenticeship. Through rotations around the Operations Division, you will receive a well-rounded view of the Asset Management industry and its related functions. The programme runs for 12-24 months within the Operations Division. It’s designed to help you learn about the organisation, meet the people involved and help you decide which area of Operations to begin your career in. The aim of the apprenticeship programme is to develop those who can make high-level contributions to Aberdeen Asset Management PLC without having attended higher education. As well as providing in-house and on-the-job training, Aberdeen provide you with the opportunity to continue studying for vocational and industry recognised qualifications.

Roles you may embark on include performance reporting, building statistical reports and calculating performance measurements; content managment, creating and maintaining web pages; client reporting, building client reports on Aberdeens funds; business systems; investor services in the transfer team; IT in Service Delivery and Infrastructure Technology. 

Asset Management: Henderson Global Investors Trainee Programme

henderdsonHenderson Global Investors run a trainee programme, with intakes in April, August and November. The programme is aimed at school leavers and gives you hands on experience in working in the asset management industry. Unlike many programmes, previous experience is not a prerequisite for applying. Henderson are offering a 12-month short term contract, and you are placed in one of their teams for the duration of the contract, not rotated. The programme is a paid experience, which could either help you make future career choices or provide the necessary experience for embarking on a career in financial services. For those Trainees who excel it may lead to a permanent role within Henderson.They recruit many people from this trainee scheme, 78% to date of those that attended the training programme, were later employed.

Asset Management: Investment 2020

Investment 2000Investment 2020 is a scheme put together by 13 investment management firms with Uk based offices. They offer school leavers ( and graduates) the opportunity to get paid work experience within one of the 13 firms for a 12 month period. The trainees will get experience across one of  marketing, IT, Infrastructure, operations or investment. At the end of the 12 month period you will be considered for a permanent position within the firm. The participating companies includes; Aberdeen, BNP Paribas Securities, Services, Cazenove Capital, First State, Henderson, JO Hambro Capital Managment, Jupiter, Legal & General Investments, M&G Investments, Pension Insurance corporation, Standard Life Investments and Threadneedle Investments.

Asset Management: J.P. Morgan Asset Management

jpmorganJ.P. Morgan Asset Management school leaver programme is looking to attract smart and talented A-Level students to join their Asset Management business and to develop you to be future leaders. Following a 4-6 week internship, where you can experience a taste of working in one of the largest financial institutions in the world, successful students will be a offered permanent role. These specialist school leaver roles will follow a structured 3-year programme developing your personal and professional skills within the firm.

Students on the School Leaver Programme will undertake the CISI Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) and the CISI Investment Management Certificate (IMC). You will be placed in one of these groups:

 - Business Change Group

 - European Client Services

 - Investment Operations

 - Investment Services Portfolio Analysis Group

 - Product Delivery

To apply you need to complete an application form, followed by online tests. This will be folloowed by interviews nd an assessment day. You will then have a 4-6 week internship which if successful you will then be offered a full time position. 

Learn more about JP Morgan's assessment process and online tests HERE.

Investment Management: Fidelity Business Apprenticeship

fidelitylogoFidelity International  offers investment solutions and retirement expertise and are a privately owned, independent company. They invest USD $272 billion globally on behalf of clients in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Their clients range from pension funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, large corporates, financial institutions, insurers and wealth managers, to private individuals. 

As a businessapprentice, you’ll gain in depth exposure to various departments that each play a key role in how the Fidelity business runs. Recent apprentices have processed global trades and priced up shares and bonds held on behalf of investors. You’ll be working at offices in Hildenborough, Kent or Kingswood Fields, Surrey. 

What you'll be doing

Running between 18 months and 3 years, depending on the qualification you'll be working towards, the Business Apprenticeship will give you an idea of exactly what it takes to support a leading fund management organisation. Working with business partners across the organisation, you’ll learn how Fidelity fits into the wider Financial Services industry and will gain an excellent understanding of both the department and the wider business.  


You will be enrolled in industry-recognised, professional qualifications such as the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC) or Investment Management Certificate (IMC) to support your development and career goals.

What are they looking for?

They are looking for bright, curious problem solvers with a creative and innovative eye, who have drive and impact. You’ll need to have GCSEs in Maths and English, but they accept applications from A Level and BTEC students too, no matter what your grades. You don’t need to have studied Business or IT, as long as you have the right attitude and thinking skills you need to look at things differently. To make the most of this opportunity you’ll need to demonstrate a passion for the world of business – plus you’ll need to be open to learning new things and demonstrate great verbal and written communication skills. 

Learn more about Fidelity's online tests HERE

Investment Management: Fidelity Business Services Apprenticeship

fidelitylogoFidelity International offers investment solutions and retirement expertise and are a privately owned, independent company. They invest USD $272 billion globally on behalf of clients in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, and South America. Our clients range from pension funds, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, large corporates, financial institutions, insurers and wealth managers, to private individuals. 

On this apprenticeship you’ll be working at Kingswood, Hildenborough or Cannon Street offices – depending on what role you’re performing. You’ll be given responsibility from the beginning and encouraged through a combination of hands-on work and structured training – culminating in an industry-recognised, professional qualification. You will be enrolled in industry-recognised, professional qualifications such as the PRINCE2 for Project Management to support you in your development. 

What you'll be doing

Running between 18 months and three years depending on the qualification you'll be studying towards, you'll gain a unique insight into each of the areas that play an essential role in supporting the Fidelity business. You’ll work with Project Management, Events, the media studio or the Horticulture and Landscaping team and help to provide the essential functions that make the overall business possible. This could lead you to a career in Corporate Services, hospitality or our in-house media studio.

What they are looking for

They are looking for ambitious, problem solvers with an eye for business.  You must be between 18 and 24 years old with GCSEs in Maths and English. They accept A level and BTEC students and welcome applications no matter your subject or grade. You’ll need excellent attention to detail, solid verbal and written communication skills, an analytical approach and, most importantly, a passion to further your career.

Learn more about Fidelity's online tests HERE

Investment Management: M&G Apprenticeships

mandginvestmentsM&G is a leading international asset manager and offesr apprenticeship schemes across the business. You will receive valuable training to gain the skills you need to contribute to the organisation. The training is technical and behavioural and is provided on-the-job and by recognised, external providers. You need to have acheived or be predicted 240 UCAS points to apply. 

Throughout the 12-18 month apprenticeship, you will work towards a NVQ and industry recognised technical certificates which could include the Investment Operations Certificate (IOC), the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) or another qualification relating to the area you join.


Where you could work

  • Investment Operations
  • IT
  • Finance
  • Sales & Marketing
  • Fund Management
  • Human Resources
  • Retail
  • Secretarial & Admin

The application process includes the application form followed by online tests, video interview, face to face interview and a final interview which may include a case study. 

Wealth Management: SJP Apprenticeships

SJP is one of the UK's leading wealth management organisations, and a FTSE 100 company. They provide advice to individuals and businesses with regard building capital, planning for retirement, business planning and managing risk. They are based in Cirencester.

Apprenticeships at St. James’s Place are for a minimum of 12 months (longer depending on the type of apprenticeship) and they work in partnership with a range of specific training providers such as Cirencester College, the University of Gloucestershire and FWD Training, for the delivery of the training programmes.

Apprenticeships are available at Intermediate (level 2), Advanced (level 3) and Higher (level 4) levels across a wide range of head office departments, and include apprenticeship training in the following areas: 

  • Business Administration
  • Marketing
  • IT
  • Accounting
  • Financial Services
  • Investments
  • Human Resiurces
  • Para Planning

Qualifications required

To apply for an apprenticeship with they are looking for applicants who have GCSE’s in Maths and English, and are generally educated to ‘A’ Level or equivalent standard. With an annual intake each September, while they are not looking for specific ‘A’ levels (or equivalents), they are looking for a specific type of person. St. James’s Place is a people business where the ability to create strong and lasting relationships with colleagues is as important as your ability to learn quickly and take responsibility for your actions. Applications usually open around March each year.


Wealth Management: UBS Apprenticeships

ubsUBS offer a wealth managment apprenticeship. You'll be working in a fast-paced environment and contributing to the delivery of the UBS private banking service to clients. 

You'll also receive:

  • Above average salary and benefits package
  • Additional exam support, coaching and study leave
  • Internal online networking forum to meet all apprentices
  • Mentoring

Learn more about UBS's online tests HERE

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