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Schemes to inject new blood into ’ageing’ sector

The business development director of Pink, the mortgage and insurance network, said that graduates could be trained up to plug gaps in protection advice within mortgage firms.

He was commenting on the launch of Pink’s new graduate training programme, which has enlisted property services provider LSL to help with recruitment.

Mr Woods said the campaign to attract graduates into the profession has received strong interest ahead of the scheme’s first selection day, taking place on 4 October.

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Successful candidates will be hand-picked for a four-day training course and then receive ongoing support while they learn how to become life and protection sellers in mortgage advisory firms.

The training will be similar in style to Aviva Financial Adviser Academy, the training scheme it ran in association with the insurer, which helps mortgage advisers to sell more protection.

Wesleyan Assurance Society has also continued its apprenticeship scheme with a new intake of 12 trainees.

The mutual is bringing the apprentices into a range of departments at head office, such as marketing and IT, for the first time this year.

Apprentice help

This year, the Financial Skills Partnership, a trainee support organisation, merged with Skills for Justice, a similar body working in the legal sector.

The deal was agreed partly in the wake of the new Legal Services Act, dubbed the “Tesco law”, which allows lawyers to enter joint ventures with non-legal companies, including financial advice firms.

Background

Firms such as Yorkshire-based wealth manager Pearson Jones and London-based Bloomsbury Financial Planning have said they are on the look-out for graduates that can be trained up in-house.

However, Paul Davis, financial adviser at Essex-based Clear Financial Advice, has expressed concerns about the difficulties of luring young people into the industry. He said: “There is the risk that firms could invest a lot of time and money in a trainee, only for them to leave once they are qualified.”