Edinburgh Guarantee School Leaver Trainees

"Joining the working world at a young age has opened doors to so many opportunities that I intend to grab with both hands." Aimee Dodds, Training Coordinator and former Edinburgh Guarantee

Invest in your future

We invest for a better future. We do this for our customers and clients. We also believe it’s just as important to invest in our employees’ future too.

You will be placed on a development programme that will grow your knowledge of the world of work, the team you operate in and Financial Services.

Moving from school to the world of work is a unique experience. It is one we understand. It is one we support. We have award winning programmes that will see you obtain qualifications, work experience and the national Living Wage.

If you are an enthusiastic, open-minded and forward thinking individual who can bring a can-do attitude to a task, we would love for you to apply below.

Read the below stories & watch the video to hear from some of previous School Leavers who have been in the same position as you.

Darren Main

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What were you doing before joining Standard Life?

I was at high school and working part-time at Poundworld. So the opportunity to work here gave me a pretty crazy career jump!

Why did you choose to work here instead of, say, further education?

I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left high school (all I knew was that I wanted to wear a suit!) and a close friend of mine told me about the Edinburgh Guarantee scheme. Through it, I successfully got a six-month paid internship at Standard Life working in their Marketing department.

What was the biggest challenge adapting to work after leaving school?

I was initially very nervous of starting work at a place where the majority of staff are over age 25. In school, I got used to being treated as a pupil by anyone older than me. But at Standard Life you quickly realise that everyone is treated as an equal. People take time to listen to your ideas, to encourage you and are keen to help you learn the ropes.

Actuarial graduate

How has working here benefitted you personally?

Within the Marketing department I was able to flex my creative muscle in ways that I couldn’t have imagined for someone my age and experience. Within my first three months, I had successfully helped organise two internal launch events for a new Standard Life Savings product.

I have gained very valuable skills, including customer experience knowledge and coding & web design. I’ve also gained transferable skills like workload management too.

Getting paid the Living Wage has been a massive benefit to me as well, allowing me to buy and run my first car.

Lastly, being able to say “I’m a Digital Consultant” at age 18 also sounds pretty cool!

What are you most proud of since you started working at Standard Life

The creation and launch of the company’s new Intranet, “Stan”.

It took a lot of hard work and planning and we managed to launch it on time. The initial reception has been terrific, although we know there’s still plenty of work to be done to make it even better.

Gregor Sked

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What were you doing before joining Standard Life?

Working at Farmfoods as a retail assistant.

What were your reasons for applying to work for us over, say, further education?

The short answer is I didn’t have the qualifications to progress onto further education after school and, looking back, I probably wouldn’t have gotten much out of it. At the time I thought it was the end of the world, my friends were all going to University so I felt like I’d failed not going down the same route. I went to work in retail and hospitality for a couple of years which gave me a strong work ethic through long, hard shifts but it wasn’t where I wanted to be long term (mind you I didn’t actually know where I wanted to end up). While looking for something different I came across an online application for a six month internship with Standard Life – all I knew about Standard Life was it was a finance company my parents had a few shares in. Those same parents brought me up with the belief that you grab opportunities while you can and make the most of them.

What was the biggest challenge adapting to work after leaving school?

After spending two years in the world of work the challenge for me was more on adapting to a work environment where there’s such a large focus on development. I learned from some fantastic mentors that staying focussed on the day job is crucial, the best advice they gave me was to ‘master your day job and the development opportunities will fall into place'.

Customer Operations graduate

How has working here benefitted you personally?

Starting my career. With it came a steady income, allowing me to gain independence and confidence in my future. I’ve recently been able to take the massive step and buy my first house which I would never have been able to do at this point in my life. I’m also studying towards a professional marketing qualification from the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) which, without Standard Life’s support, would have not been possible.

What are you most proud of since you started working for us?

Just how far I’ve come. I started as an Administration Assistant which, to me, will always be the most valuable role I’ve done at Standard Life. I’ve now worked my way up to a role where I travel across the UK delivering presentations to Standard Life’s workplace pension customers, engaging and educating them on pensions and retirement. There is nothing more satisfying than directly seeing the work I do have a positive impact on customers’ lives.

What advice would you give to someone considering leaving school / college / university to come and work here?

It took me a while to realise that a Degree doesn’t define who you are. Your work ethic, attitude and drive are what makes you stand out from the crowd, and Standard Life recognises people and their talents regardless of background. If you show passion and a desire to do well, you’ll fit into the Standard Life family.

Shannon MacNaughton

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What were you doing before joining Standard Life?

Working at a perfume shop in Fort Kinnaird on a 12-hour contract. I left school in 2015.

Why did you choose to work at Standard Life instead of, say, further education?

I felt that I wasn’t very good at revising for exams and thought this would be a terrific opportunity that would be hard to turn down.

How has working at Standard Life benefitted you personally?

Being paid the UK Living Wage has definitely benefitted me personally as I have been able to support my young daughter better and to save more too.

What are you most proud of since you started working here?

I am most proud the relationships that I have built during my six months. I have always found it daunting to speak with people for the first time. However, I found out very quickly that everyone I met was very welcoming and eventually found talking to people a walk in the park!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of working at Standard Life?

The only advice I would give is to be a sponge! I knew very little about how Financial Services worked, so I absorbed everything I could about what my department (HR) does and how that all fits together in a big global company.

Marketing graduate

What has been the most surprising thing since starting work here?

How nice everyone is. As a trainee coming into the workplace, people were more than happy to give up some time to speak about the part of the business they work in.

Would you recommend working at Standard Life to friends? Why?

Definitely. I think it is a great company to work for, and a place where you can gain great experience and develop a good network.

What has been your biggest learning or development so far?

Growing my confidence. I was very shy when I first joined and knew it was something I needed to work on. My team were very keen to help me and nudged me to do several presentations over my six-month contract. I felt confidence was a key element in my role as I was meeting with new people every day.

How did you feel now, looking back to before you joined us?

On the lead-up to joining, it felt surreal that I was given the opportunity to work for a global organisation. I was also very nervous and shy – which made me think I wasn’t going to fit in. Compared to now, it’s like chalk and cheese. I actually feel like I have been at Standard Life for years as I have fitted in so well with my team.

Tegan Simpson

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What were you doing before joining Standard Life?

I was studying for a vocational degree that I no longer enjoyed. I decided to leave mid-way through, take a year out from education and planned to return to study a different subject. It was during my year out that I started at Standard Life through the Edinburgh Guarantee Scheme. I really enjoyed the job I was doing and I realised that it was possible to be successful without a university degree. I decided to continue working full time as opposed to returning to education after my internship.

Why did you choose to join Standard Life?

I’d been applying for – what felt like –every job advertised. I had a bit of luck but nothing excited me. A lot felt similar-sounding to the retail jobs that I’d been doing for the past four years. I wanted to do a “real job” and be given autonomy and responsibility which, with very little experience, is hard to come by.. So when Standard Life offered me a place on their Edinburgh Guarantee Scheme for six months’ paid work, I jumped at the chance.

How has working here benefitted you personally?

It’s really helped me to plan for my future and become more independent. Being paid a salary (at the UK’s Living Wage) means I am able to start saving for my first flat. Standard Life has not only benefitted me financially it has helped my confidence grow too. I have also met so many great, like-minded people.

What are you most proud of since you started working here?

I’m proud of how far I’ve come in such a short space of time. A large part of my job involves understanding a massive regulatory structure called the FCA handbook. So even recognising a chapter of that and knowing what it means is a great feeling, considering when I first started I couldn’t tell you anything about financial regulations!

Just attending meetings and coming out understanding the majority of what was discussed and being able to form an opinion makes me immensely proud too. I have started studying towards a professional qualification and passed my first module last month.

Accounts graduate

What advice would you give to someone leaving school, already in further education and thinking about working for Standard Life?

Do it! If your heart isn’t in further education don’t waste any more of your time doing something you don’t enjoy. Spend it doing something that excites and challenges you. What have you got to lose?

What has been the most surprising thing since starting work?

I assumed working in Financial Services might be stuffy and everybody would be very serious. It was the opposite of what I expected. The people here come from all sorts of backgrounds and there is definitely no stuffiness! Also, the fact that all that matters is doing good work and developing, whether you’re just out of school or just got your PhD!

Would you recommend working at Standard Life to friends? Why?

Yes! There are so many different departments that there really is something for everyone. There is a huge culture of investing in and developing young people in the company, which I have benefitted from. The amount of support I have received – and still do receive – is immense and I am hugely grateful for it.

Being on the Living Wage has been a massive benefit to me also, allowing me to buy and run my first car for instance. Being able to say 'I’m a Digital Consultant' at age 18 also sounds pretty cool too!

Our School Leaver programmes (paid at the current UK Living Wage of £8.45 an hour) are designed for anyone aged 16 to 21 who have the desire to help us create a world-class investment company. There are no minimum qualifications or experience required, just potential.

Life is good when we can be ourselves. It’s the energy that makes us a world class team. Will you join us on this journey?

If you believe you have the potential to help us achieve our ambitions and get your career started, apply here.

Apply now


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