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Financial industry throws weight behind apprentices

The New Model Business Academy, part of support services group SimplyBiz, has taken a key role on a government steering group that has designed the first Trailblazer apprenticeship model for the financial sector, its chief executive Lee Travis has confirmed.

Mr Travis said that advisers have been traditionally “deterred” from helping apprentices by “overly complicated and confusing processes”. He added that many have not recognised apprenticeships as a legitimate long term career choice.

The Chartered Insurance Institute also hosted the first event in National Apprenticeships Week to be attended by Matt Hancock MP, skills minister, and has published a Trailblazers guide to offer information on the scheme to employers.

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The Trailblazer initiative is aimed at reforming the current infrastructure for apprenticeships to produce better workers and allow employers to draw up more straightforward standards. It was first outlined in a 20 page document, issued by the department for business, innovation and skills last October. The financial industry has been one of the first to pilot the reforms.

Daniel Pedley, public affairs manager at the CII, said: “The government is reforming the apprenticeships system in England and this is a unique opportunity for employers to influence the content of future apprenticeships and shape the future talent of the industry. The new standards will be shorter, designed by employers and supported by professional bodies like the CII.”

Mr Pedley added that members of the CII have already committed to doubling the number of apprentices it takes on over the next five years under the government’s, published in December by the Treasury.