Apprenticeships increasingly important: Winnard

The director of human resources and development at Sesame Bankhall Group said apprenticeships were being seen as a cost-effective and important alternative to university courses, with the advisory group planning to increase intake into its own Financial Adviser School from 65 to more than 120 this year.

Ms Winnard’s comments follow an announcement earlier this month that the coalition government planned to broaden the reach of apprenticeships to so-called white collar jobs, with a £25m fund set up by the department for business, innovation and skills.

She said: “We have always been supportive of apprenticeships, and the Financial Advice School has often been termed as an apprenticeship for the advisory profession.

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“Learning on the job in a working environment can be very beneficial, especially compared to a university career, while the costs of going to university can also be very prohibitive, with some financial services degrees costing as much as £40,000.

“We are working with the Financial Skills Partnership on a number of initiatives regarding apprenticeships, while we have also received more than 40 enquiries for the FAS this month already.”