Advance: addressing social mobility for the next generation of banking talent

New UK programme launches November 1

Research from the London School of Economics has shown that a student from a disadvantaged background who gains a first-class degree from a top university is less likely to secure an elite job than a more privileged student with a degree two grades lower (2:2).

Deutsche Bank is aiming to help level the playing field in the UK by launching Advance, a new employability programme for ambitious, talented students who are facing socioeconomic barriers to a career within financial services. Providing a launch pad to start a career in banking, the programme is open to undergraduates (year one of three, or year two of four), studying any discipline at any UK university.

The pilot will support 10 students over an 18-month period, with ambitions to expand beneficiary numbers in coming years. Participants will benefit from industry insights, valuable work experience and access to world-class employability workshops. From day one students will be individually matched with a Deutsche Bank employee mentor who will help build their professional journeys. By meeting the programme’s progression targets, students will fast-track on to an assessment centre for a summer 2023 internship place in one of the bank’s core divisions.

A joint collaboration led by the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility and Early Careers teams, Advance is partnering with social mobility charity upReach to reach high-calibre students. The award-winning organisation specialises in providing personalised support to enable undergraduates from less-advantaged backgrounds to access and sustain top graduate jobs.

A natural extension of existing social mobility programmes for state secondary school students, we are committed to building inclusive and diverse teams at all levels. Advance sits alongside Rise and GROW, two other student insight programmes piloted in spring 2021, which are designed to inspire first-year Black and female students respectively. These programmes have helped 68 students to navigate early stage careers at Deutsche Bank, with more than 30% successfully securing a 2022 summer internship place.

Tiina Lee, CEO for UK and Ireland at Deutsche Bank, said: “The launch of Advance is a very proud moment for the bank’s Early Careers programmes, and we are delighted to work with upReach to ensure we support students from low socioeconomic backgrounds. We know this is a vital step to help remove barriers that have typically stopped bright, young students from less-advantaged backgrounds considering a future at Deutsche Bank. There is a huge array of talent out there that the industry is missing out on, and we want to be a leader in bringing in diverse experiences and backgrounds to support our growth and transformation.”

John Craven, CEO for upReach, adds: “upReach has grown significantly over the past five years from supporting approximately 529 students in 2016 to a projected 2,700 in 2021. This growth would not have been possible without the support of upReach’s partners, donors, and supporter firms. We are delighted to announce this partnership with Deutsche Bank and the launch of the Advance programme which will allow us to further grow our impact and provide more students with exciting career opportunities in the banking sector”.

To find out more or apply for Advance visit