Students from Swanhurst Girls School in Birmingham recently spent the day at the Headquarters of the Islamic Bank of Britain. During the visit, the girls covered many topics ranging from the various roles within the organisation to the skills and experience that the bank looks for when employing new staff. The day also included an introduction to the more complex area of Islamic Banking practices such as providing products and services that meet the requirements of Sharia Law.
The Islamic Bank of Britain has pioneered Sharia compliant retail banking in the UK and now offers the largest range of Sharia compliant retail financial products in the UK. These include Sharia compliant mortgage alternatives, the Home Purchase Plan (HPP) and Buy to Let Purchase Plan (BTLPP), current accounts and savings accounts. The Bank was also the first to introduce Sharia compliant business banking to the UK, and now offers a wide range of institutional and business bank products and services.
West Midlands Regional Leadership Group member and Head of Sales and Service at the bank, Imran Pasha explained: “Being an ethical business where community values play a strong part in our organisation’s identity, hosting such an event is a direct way of putting our ethos into practice. By helping local school children realise their ambitions, to learn about the different roles in a commercial environment and some of the skills required to fulfil these roles, not only supports their development but also means they become aware of us as a potential employer of the future.”
On arrival, the girls and school staff were welcomed by Shazia Tabusam, Home Purchase Plan Specialist and Jason Berrington, Training Manager. After a general introduction to the history of the bank and the main products it provides to a UK client base, the girls explored the various career routes available and learnt about the roles within the organisation, ranging from Account Services Team Leader, Marketing Product Manager, Credit Underwriter, Contact Centre Advisor, IT Support and Finance Analyst.
HR Manager, Angela Quigley joined the group and shared her experience of interviewing candidates, explaining what she looks for when appointing new staff and the bank’s ethos of “nurturing and growing our own talent so staff can progress and enhance their skills over time by working in different department and roles”.
Following a delicious lunch of pizza and chocolate profiteroles, the girls had a hand at creating a marketing campaign to promote two of the bank’s products: the Home Purchase Plan and the Buy to Let Purchase Plan, with student Rimshah commenting: “The most interesting part of the day was making the poster about the Islamic way of buying a house.”
Head of Year 9, Lauren Taylor, reflected on the day: “The World of Work visit was useful to showcase careers in the financial services sector, a sector that most girls had not considered. We had excellent speakers, sharing real life examples and career routes, resulting in the girls becoming aware that employability skills such as taking accountability for their work and engaging in extra-curricular activities are vitally important in securing that first job” with Assistant Head of Year, Deb Bray adding: “The Interview techniques were really useful”.
West Midlands Lead Regional Manager, Annalisa Lockett added: “Our World of Work visits complement the core secondary mentoring programme whose focus is to ensure that our young people’s self-esteem, confidence and employability skills are developed. The visits enhance and bring to life some of the learning that takes place during the mentoring. Today’s speakers have reinforced those lessons in an engaging, informative and at times amusing way so I am very grateful to the staff at IBB for taking time out of very busy work schedules to support our programmes.”
Would your company like to host a World of Work visit? If so please email Annalisa Lockett, West Midlands Lead Regional Manager.