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Featured Apprentice Story

Lloyds Banking Group

Haris started his Level 4 apprenticeship by taking ownership of a project to close 800,000 dormant customer accounts, identifying them as an opportunity and necessary to be aligned with GDPR. This initiative required strong influencing skills to demonstrate the value and has since been automated and still running today. Haris then took the leap to become Engineering Community Lead as a secondment, a role that demanded leadership skills, initiative planning, and complete ownership. Haris was the Lead for the LBG Engineering Community (3,000 colleagues), responsible for engaging the community, forming guilds and forums to advance knowledge and problem-solving, organising community meetings to help the group engage with senior leaders, generating new ideas and identifying learning opportunities.

Haris also hosted hackathons, aiming to boost technological learning. He supported emerging talent activities, such as creating coding challenges for undergraduate competitions (Varsity Code), interviewing incoming graduates and apprentices, and through his involvement with the group disability network ‘Access’ he was able to support in adapting the technical assessments to better suit neurodiverse candidates and then re-interviewed a candidate disadvantaged prior to these changes. Haris has helped shape the bank’s Train-Deploy-Retain model for the recruitment of graduate and career returners into the organisation, guiding and assessing suppliers of technology graduates. Haris played a significant role in shaping training for Level 4 software engineer apprentices, ensuring a 4-week boot camp had the correct content and set them for success. Haris has been involved in the LBG Reboot Hackathons, an opportunity for Engineers and non-engineers to collaborate for a day in rapidly solving a business problem while leveraging cloud technology. He entered the Hackathon within 2 weeks of starting as the only apprentice and his team was shortlisted in the top 5 teams with Haris presenting their idea and solution on stage to over 300 internal/external colleagues. He has served as Technical Lead for a major hackathon event, managing over 100 competitors, marshalling coaches and mentors, and guiding judges. His technical expertise was invaluable and ensured the success of these events – the model he designed to short-list and judge teams is still in use.

Now in his third year of the degree apprenticeship, Haris is working on his work-based project. He demonstrated strong management and resilience when as part of planning he established the project was deemed unnecessary, therefore delivering cost savings. He then pivoted to a project preventing customers from exceeding their daily spending limit on the telephony platform.Excelling academically, Haris secured a spot at Manchester University to study computer science and mathematics. 3 weeks prior to starting his course Haris faced a major obstacle when he learned that his immigration status made him ineligible for student loans. Devastated, he took on multiple part-time jobs for over a year, hoping to save the £60,000 needed for university. By chance, Haris learned about the Level 4 Software Engineering Apprenticeship at Lloyds Banking Group (LBG) through a friend on the LBG scholar’s scheme. By joining LBG's apprenticeship program, Haris could not only pursue his passion for technology but also support his family financially as contrary to his and others misconception that all apprenticeships paid low wages. Although his mother initially urged him to continue saving for university as it was the only type of success she understood, she gradually realized the merits of apprenticeships. Haris’ success, especially when compared to his university-going friends in the same field, convinced her that apprenticeships could lead to highly rewarding and successful careers.

Completing the Level 4 apprenticeship in 2020, Haris eagerly sought new challenges. His proactive attitude led him to network, support events and present on panels discussing diversity. He found someone recruiting for a different team as part of the Engineering community and eventually through this connection secured a promotion. Haris was able to illustrate the benefits of apprenticeships to the organisation and convinced his manager to enrol on to the Level 6 Digital & Technology Solutions Degree Apprenticeship. In his own words ‘He made his mum proud’. After seeing Haris’ success and the boost from industry experience, she is actively encouraging Haris' younger brother to explore apprenticeship opportunities (as is he) instead of solely focusing on university.

Haris is enthusiastic about being an apprentice ambassador and supporting young people in understanding their options. He has also been mentoring other apprentices on how to navigate their career journeys, gain exposure and network. Supporting them in managing challenges and ways to gain the maximum potential of being an apprentice. Haris actively engages with schools and colleges, educating parents and students, especially those from multicultural backgrounds, about the benefits of apprenticeships. Haris has a mission to challenge the cultural association of success with a university degree. Outside of work, Haris is raising £1500 for an orphanage run by a charity in Lebanon, supporting Syrian widows and orphans with food, education, and clothing alongside Ihya College where he currently studies Islamic studies. He is planning to volunteer there in person next year.

His positive impact extends across the entire organization and beyond, as evidenced by the glowing feedback from Sara Milne, Head of Technology Community. “Haris continues to impress everyone he comes into contact within the bank. He was part of our very first hackathon just weeks after joining the bank as an apprentice where he made such a great impression, we keep inviting him back. Haris approaches every assignment with a can-do mindset and has always challenged himself and us to give him stretching roles. He has taken leadership roles in his stride and has the ability to generate great followership even at this stage in his career. Haris is open about his background and how that has driven him to embrace the apprenticeship opportunity with such passion. He gives back to the scheme by encouraging young people to consider apprenticeships and is a great role model. I particularly love how Haris actively seeks feedback to shape his ongoing development. I know whatever is asked of him he will give it his best shot including filming pieces to camera to promote our tech events on social media. My team are very proud of what he achieved in our team and continue to watch with pride as he grows now as a platform software engineer.”

Haris's can-do mindset, leadership skills, and commitment to personal development make him an exceptional role model for others. Dedicated to helping young people in Bradford secure apprenticeships, Haris actively educates parents about alternative paths to success. He aims to create a more attractive environment for business and talent development in Bradford, drawing on his own experiences to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships in terms of qualifications, career progression, and financial stability.