"We know there is an appetite from within the sector to employ enthusiastic candidates seeking an opportunity to progress their careers in professional financial advice."
The Department for Education has approved the new specialist Financial Adviser apprenticeship standard, which offers employers up to £9,600 in financial assistance to contribute towards the development of a financial adviser.
Government funding is available to support employers taking on apprentices, where funds are used to support external training and assessment costs including exams and study support. Small firms (defined as <50 employees) can qualify for additional incentives.
Firms will be required to work with an approved apprenticeship training provider for the duration of the apprenticeship. Candidates of any age are eligible to apply, including both new recruits and existing staff who have substantial new learning requirements.
Personal Finance Society chief executive Keith Richards said the apprenticeship offered a much-needed alternative route for advisers to enter the profession, complementing the recently-launched Financial Services Administrator, Mortgage Adviser and Paraplanner apprenticeships.
He said: “This is great news for our sector, which faces an ongoing risk of future skills shortages in the absence of initiatives such as this new employer-led apprenticeship standard.
“We have long discussed the issues relating to developing new talent in our sector and apprenticeships provide a fantastic opportunity to overcome some of these barriers for financial planning firms, including a structured training and development programme supported by government funding.”
Adam Owen, head of learning and development at Sense Network and chair of the employer steering group responsible for developing the apprenticeship standard, encouraged advice firms of all sizes to consider employing an apprentice.
He said: “We know there is an appetite from within the sector to employ enthusiastic candidates seeking an opportunity to progress their careers in professional financial advice.
“The new apprenticeship standard, specific to the job role, makes it easier for adviser firms to develop their new and existing talent, which will in turn support their client proposition and facilitate business growth and evolution.”