Usman Zeb works as a Lead Support Officer in the Structuring and Execution department of the Commercial Division of Nationwide Building Society. Nationwide is the world’s largest building society, employing around 17,000 staff, and Usman is based at the Chapel Walks office in central Manchester.

After gaining three good grades at A level, Usman, who lives in Heaton Chapel in Stockport, considered his options. He could have gone on to university, but decided that he wanted to embark on his career and achieve vocational qualifications in the workplace.

Usman saw a job vacancy advertised which was part of Nationwide’s Apprenticeship Recruitment Programme. It was the first time that the Commercial Division of Nationwide had recruited apprentices. He applied, and after an interview and selection process, was delighted to be selected.

He started on an Apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services (Financing and Credit), working within the Structuring and Execution department of the Commercial Division. The Apprenticeship is delivered and assessed in the workplace, and Usman had regular visits from his Skills Company Lead Assessor, Jayne Chorlton. Jayne visited Usman and his fellow apprentice to review their progress, set assignments, and deal with any issues that they were facing in their learning.

Usman said:
“Jayne has proven to be an exceptional trainer with a wealth of knowledge regarding commercial lending. She has been very supportive and understanding during the programme. I liked the flexibility of the Apprenticeship, and that it was totally relevant to my everyday work, so it didn’t interrupt my day job.”

“Now that I’ve completed my Apprenticeship, I’d like to gain further qualifications, and continue to progress within business development to further my understanding of the division.”

Steve Luty, Head of Business Development, North in the Property Finance department of Nationwide’s Commercial Division said:
“Nationwide has been a strong supporter of the Apprenticeship scheme for many years now but Usman was one of the first inductees into our Commercial Division. We had traditionally only employed graduates and industry transferees into this specialised area, but we recognised a need to address our succession pipeline in a more comprehensive way.”

“I’ve been delighted with the commitment and enthusiasm Usman has brought to his role which in turn has definitely contributed to building the positive culture within our office. People have enjoyed supporting his learning and seeing how he has developed. I was surprised how quickly Usman was making a true contribution to the output of the team and how quickly he has learnt some relatively complex aspects of his role.“