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School Leaver Programme (ASPIRE)

Meet the Close Brothers ASPIRE trainees

Our ASPIRE programme provides school leavers with the opportunity to start their careers in professional, challenging and fast paced businesses.

The programme is a structured yet tailor-made, two year rotational scheme with placements in two business areas within our Banking division. ASPIRE trainees join various teams and departments; progressing quickly to work on the front line handling customer queries and gaining experience with successful sales teams.

Learning is predominantly on the job, partnered with personalised training and development including workshops and one-on-one mentoring with exposure to business leaders. We also provide full sponsorship to complete an apprenticeship in partnership with the Chartered Banking Institute.

Who are we looking for

Applicants must have obtained GCSE grade C/4 in Maths and English Language and at least 112 UCAS points at A-level/AS Level (not inclusive of General Studies).

Please note these UCAS points are in line with the new 2017 requirements. If you have completed your A Levels prior to 2017, the entry requirement is 280 UCAS points at A-level/AS Level (not inclusive of General Studies).

Location: You must be mobile and willing to move to where the best placement opportunities are; some examples of popular locations are Wimbledon, Doncaster, London, Manchester, Chester and Hove.

Salary and Benefits: £22K in year 1 increasing to £23K in year 2 plus a competitive benefits package including eligibility for a discretionary annual bonus, a mobility allowance of up to £5k per annum (to support a move out of current location/home to take up a placement in another part of the UK), private health care, a cycle to work scheme, season ticket loan, pension and life assurance.

All applicants must have the right to work in the UK.

Key skills and behaviours we are looking for

  • Motivation and personal drive
  • Self confidence
  • Curiosity and eagerness to learn
  • Uses initiative
  • Team player
  • Strong listening and responding skills
  • Able to build strong working relationships

Application Process

To apply to our ASPIRE programme you will be required to complete the following stages: 

Stage 1 - Online application

A short application form is required to provide information about the applicant and their motivation for joining the ASPIRE Programme.  

Stage 2 - Online assessments

Successful online applications will receive an invite to complete inductive and numerical reasoning assessments.

Stage 3 - Telephone interview

This is to find out more about the applicants interests and motivation, including understanding their work experience, education and personal drive.

Stage 4 - One day assessment centre

This is the final stage of the recruitment process. Successful candidates will be invited to participate in further interviews and exercises designed to further test skills.


Applications for 2024 are now closed. 

For all recruitment queries or future interest in the programme please email