As the oldest child in her family, expectations for Aiman’s career were high, with pressure from parents and siblings to set and achieve the highest of career benchmarks so, to study at university felt like the obvious choice.
At her 6th form college, apprenticeships were seen as an option for the ‘less smart’ pupils, and only a short session giving an overview of apprenticeships was offered and this route was not encouraged by the school’s careers team.
Aiman has raised her family’s awareness and addressed their reluctance for her to undertake an apprenticeship in preference to studying at university to being at a place where her family are now active supporters of these programmes.
She has had an exceptional apprenticeship journey with Lloyds Banking Group, successfully completing her Level 4 Apprenticeship in Internal Audit as she continues to study for her Level 7 qualification. Aiman always looks for additional opportunities and responsibilities to mentor the next generation of apprentices and to grow awareness of apprenticeship opportunities in her wider community.
As an apprenticeship ambassador she regularly supports The World of Work experience sessions to share her journey with school pupils, outlining what it’s like to work in a large banking organisation and dispelling myths about apprenticeships. She also leads the Group Audit Community Engagement Network encouraging and promoting volunteering and fundraising events to help raise money for Lloyds Banking Group’s charity partner, Mental Health UK.
I think that having more people from a diverse background is really important, as is having female senior people in the organisation. We do a lot in terms of driving our race action plan and getting more senior females into the business. I’m a true believer that we should be valuing everyone’s difference and be open to understanding about people’s backgrounds, where they come from and collaborating in a way that we can add value together.
She is passionate about supporting financial literacy in the community and in 2021 developed a three-week group audit financial literacy and basic banking programme. The first session took place in Q4 2021 at Haileybury Turnford school in Cheshunt, Enfield where she expected 30 students to attend and 160 turned up.
There are plans in place for Aiman to deliver more sessions in the community to help young people understand how a bank works and what it means to save and invest. Her programme is now planned to be rolled out nationally and is a much-needed initiative at this time of a national cost of living crisis.
Aiman is actively helping young people from a range of cultures in her community to understand the benefits of apprenticeship versus the university pathway and what careers at Lloyds Banking Group can offer. Her passion for this agenda and supporting financial literacy in less affluent areas of UK has now seen the programme she trailblazed being rolled-out nationally.
In recognition of her achievements Aiman was invited to attend a networking event with the Lloyds Banking Group Chairman Robin Budenberg. She won the Apprenticeship Ambassador of the year at the 2022 Lloyds Banking Group Apprenticeship Awards. She also won Apprentice of the Year at the 2022 Multicultural Awards.
Asked what her two biggest achievements are so far Aiman says:
The number of relationships I’ve built at work and the experience I’ve gained alongside getting a Master’s degree which is fully-funded and that I can apply what I learn theoretically from my studies to my job role. Secondly, the recognition that I’ve got from my journey so far.
“I mentor new joiner apprentices to make sure they settle into the world of work and have the full support they need to hit the ground running. It’s something that I got as an apprentice and I want to pass that down to future generations joining us.”