Jobless Majed gets break with Canary Wharf bank HQ without qualifications

Majed Hussain graduates from 12-month Barclays apprenticeship scheme

Majed Hussain graduates from 12-month Barclays apprenticeship scheme - Credit: Barclays Bank

Teenager Majed Hussain quit school without A-Levels and was several months on the dole in London’s East End with no hope of a job.

But he got a break with a high street bank and has just completed a 12-month apprentice scheme, graduating at a ceremony at Barclays’ HQ in Canary Wharf.

It’s a dream come true for the 18-year-old who, from the age of five, could see the towers at Canary Wharf from his home at Tiller Road in Millwall—but never imagined he would ever work there.

Majed dropped out of sixth form after four months of A-Level studies and ended up unemployed for the next five months.

Then he heard about apprenticeships being offered by Barclays to those without qualifications and passed two interviews.

“It was like a dream when I was offered a job, having grown up so close and seeing the Canary Wharf towers every day,” he recalls.

“I expected the work to be strict and not much fun, but I’ve found it’s about 80 per cent dealing with people—and that’s great.”

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He began as a cashier and now has a career planned out with an ambition to be a branch manager in the next 18 months.

Barclays started recruiting apprentices a year ago in a programme aimed at jobless youngsters between 16 and 24 who were not in education or training and with no qualifications. They get full pay and training towards recognised qualifications.

Majed’s manager Kaur Kiran said: “We are now looking to hiring more apprentices like Majed.

“School results aren’t always the best reflection of a young person’s potential to do well in the workplace.”

The scheme has taken on 1,000 apprentices so far and aims to double that by 2015—half were unemployed for more than six months and a quarter for more than a year. Some 500 youngsters have come off benefits by joining the programme.