Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins has been appointed by the government to take a key role in its ambition to create three million new apprenticeships in the UK before 2020.
The Department of Business, Innovation, and Skills announced on Thursday that Jenkins will be the new shadow chair of the Institute of Apprenticeships, an organisation led by employers to help boost the number of young people in apprenticeship schemes.
“Apprenticeships are something I care passionately about. I am delighted to be taking on this role and working closely with different sectors which will be important in helping to create opportunities for millions of our citizens and providing great talent for business,” Jenkins said in a statement released to announce his appointment.
Nick Boles, the Skills Minister added: “Antony brings more than 3 decades of experience from the heart of business to the role and will help shape the Institute for Apprenticeships so it meets the needs of employers. We’re putting employers in control when it comes to apprenticeships because it’s employers who know the skills, training and experience their future workforce needs to succeed”
In his role, Jenkins will be tasked with championing apprenticeship schemes across the country for an organisation that is ultimately aimed at ensuring that “employees get the skills they need to succeed from the apprenticeship system.”
One area Jenkins is likely to focus on is the financial technology industry — commonly known as fintech. Jenkins is trying to get into fintech himself, having reviewed 100 fintech businesses, and met with 50. He is reportedly mulling either joining one or starting up his own venture.
Jenkins, who was CEO of Barclays from 2012 until last year, has frequently made predictions about what he sees as the unsure future of the traditional banking industry, hence his interest in fintech. Late last week, he told the Institute of Chartered Accountants that he thinks technology could do away with maturity transformation – a core part of retail banking, and has previously made a speech predicting that banking is approaching an “Uber moment” that would see the industry transformed by technology.
Jenkins is currently one of only two people to feature on the IfA’s board, after Rachel Sandby-Thomas, a trusted lawyer who was appointed as shadow CEO in March, abruptly left the IfA in May to become the registrar of Warwick University. The other board member is Nicola Bolton, a former IBM employee. Bolton is the shadow COO of the IfA.