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Bidvest Bank's graduate programme paves the way for job creation

Bidvest Bank launched its Graduate Programme for university leavers in 2020 with a view to create employment opportunities for the youth. The successful intake has included 82 graduates since inception, enrolling 10 graduates a year between 2020 and 2022, and increasing this number significantly in 2023 to a total of 52 graduates. The increase stemmed from a redesign of the programme to align with its needs for future talent, with a specific focus in data analytics, information technology and relationship banking. 

The 2024 Graduate Programme intake sees close to 40 new graduates join the bank. While the initiative aims to nurture young talent it also culminates in the creation of employment opportunities for those graduates showing potential and dedication. 

The qualifying educational level is strictly a bachelor's degree and above, and the graduates come from universities across the country to attend, including, Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town, Witwatersrand, University of Limpopo, Rhodes University and University of Johannesburg.

The graduates are placed in various departments for a period of a year to gain valuable experience. They are assigned to different mentors and buddies in the business who guide them through their journey, providing insights, support, and opportunities for growth. This hands-on approach ensures that the graduates receive personalised attention and guidance, equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their chosen fields.

The graduates are placed in the various departments across the bank, such as Business Banking, Fleet and Asset Finance, IT, Data & Analytics, Compliance, Human Capital and the Financial Crime Unit. The graduates who show the most promise by the end of the year are taken in permanently by the bank. Last year, the bank absorbed 80 per cent of the intake in various positions - from specialist roles to junior management roles; some of which are now Accountants, Junior Software Developers, Junior Credit Managers, Financial Analysts, and Relationship Bankers.

One of the graduates, Mampine Nhlapho is now a Compliance and Monitoring Officer, says, "The Bidvest Bank Graduate Programme has enabled me to fully establish myself as a young professional, in that, I have not only been placed in a position to learn and absorb information, but I have had the opportunity to innovate and contribute meaningfully within the Bank. It has been a great start for a person like me who was fresh out of varsity. The learning doesn't stop, it continues daily."

Jeremiah Sebetlela, now appointed as a Junior Credit Manager, adds, "The Graduate Programme was an opportunity to expose myself to the corporate world while acquiring valuable skills, It has given me the platform to explore and take ownership of the path I want to follow in the banking industry."

Finally, Obakeng Sepoloane, whose role is that of a Credit Risk Analyst, says, "The Graduate Programme has been enriching for me. I have acquired deeper insights into various areas of the bank. In doing so, I have been able to sharpen my skills during the programme. It has been a challenging but rewarding experience overall."

We believe the Graduate Programme empowers graduates to embark on successful careers in the dynamic world of banking. We teach them invaluable skills and share our knowledge to equip them for future challenges.

Through initiatives like these, Bidvest Bank continues to demonstrate its commitment to investing in the next generation of leaders, who in turn will drive innovation, and shape the future of the banking industry.