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CII: Skill shortage affects advisers’ business performance

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    Advisory companies are facing obstacles to growth and are not meeting key objectives due to a shortage of skills, with soft skills, technical skills and business competence seen by many as the areas most in need of development, a study conducted the Chartered Insurance Institute has found.

    According to the CII survey, which polled 1,700 Personal Finance Society members, the proportion of financial services companies experiencing skills shortages has dropped to 63 per cent, which is the lowest since the survey began.

    However, the survey, which is in its sixth year, saw advisers highlight the various effects skills shortages are having on business performance, the worst of which include the inability to achieve growth, increased talent expenses, lack of progress in key initiatives and reduced innovation.

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    The top three critical areas identified were soft skills which was cited as needing investment by a third of respondents, technical skills, which was picked out by 25 per cent of advisers, and business competence, highlighted by 20 per cent. Thereafter, ethical behaviour/training and attracting new talent were also deemed to have a similar level of importance.

    Daniel Pedley, CII public affairs manager, said: “For the first time we delved into the impact of these shortages and found a multitude of issues affecting companies, which offers food for thought.

    “Perhaps once the Retail Distribution Review deadline has passed, those firms will be well placed to support the next stage of talent development in our burgeoning profession.

    “Clearly, there is an appetite from our members to make their voices heard in the skills debate and as their professional body we will lend our support to this.”

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