Yorkshire Building Society has announced it is putting nearly a quarter of a million pounds (£240,000) extra investment into Bradford in 2021, to deliver a commitment to provide employability and digital skills training and support its home city’s post-Covid recovery.

The investment supports the Bradford-based Society’s longer term ambition to provide at least 2,000 people in Bradford, including at least 1,000 young people in the city, with employability support via access to training, work experience, mentoring, apprenticeships and some targeted financial support for further education by the end of 2022.

As part of the commitment, Yorkshire Building Society is providing £120,000 for small and medium sized businesses in Bradford to offer apprenticeships in IT, digital, STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) and professional services careers.

The Society will be launching pilot schemes in 2021 to provide opportunities for digital skills training to people of working age in local communities to increase their chances of securing future employment.

Working alongside schools, colleges, other city-based businesses and charities and Bradford Council, the mutual will ensure many more young people are exposed to opportunities in businesses and organisations such as Yorkshire Building Society, to help them prepare for future employment.

Mike Regnier, Chief Executive of Yorkshire Building Society, said:

Our announcement today is about us helping to nurture the talent of people from Bradford that may otherwise be overlooked and to support the people of the city in rebuilding its economy and opportunities post-Covid.

We are reaffirming our commitment to the city, where in 1885, our predecessors established the Bradford Self Help Permanent Building Society in St. George's Hall Coffee Tavern, and we have been based in Bradford throughout the 135 years since.  

By investing this additional £240,000 we will be building on our previous experience working in our local communities. In addition to helping Bradford based businesses offer apprenticeships, we will also, through a focused pilot programme in partnership with carefully targeted schools and colleges in the most deprived wards of Bradford, be launching a competitive grants programme to support a small number of students with a proportion of higher education fees.

Through piloting and delivering digital skills workshops we will also be supporting adult learners, career switchers and those looking to return to work to prepare for the future of employment in an increasingly digital world.

Bradford Council Leader, Cllr Susan Hinchcliffe, said:

This commitment from Yorkshire Building Society of further investment in our city and its people is welcome news, especially as we start our economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic later in the year. As one of the oldest organisations based in Bradford with a long history of employment, supporting home ownership and the financial wellbeing of our communities we look forward to continue working together to support employability for future generations of the people of Bradford district.

For more information on how Yorkshire Building Society supports its communities please visit www.ybs.co.uk/your-society.

All information correct at time of publication.