A new standard developed to support a new apprenticeship for paraplanners has received official approval from the government, and Lighthouse, SimplyBiz, Openwork, Sense, Sesame Bankhall Group and Succession are among those signed up to the apprenticeship scheme.
The apprenticeship standard will help employers develop new and existing employees into fully trained paraplanners, through an approved training and assessment programme over two to three years, with apprentices assessed against defined knowledge, skills and behavioural competencies.
Successful apprentices will be recognised by either the Chartered Insurance Institute or the Institute of Financial Planning as having achieved the certificate in paraplanning.
The initiative, sponsored by Aviva, Zurich, Axa Investment Managers and Schroders, creates a benchmark for employees taking part in the Trailblazer Apprenticeship Scheme, a collaboration involving the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the employer-led Trailblazer group, professional associations and training bodies.
Beaufort Group, Elite Paraplanning, Jelf, Lighthouse, New Model Business Academy, Simplybiz Group, Openwork, Parasol, Pearson Jones Perspective, Sense, Sesame Bankhall Group, Succession and Temple Wealth have all backed the paraplanner apprenticeship.
The government’s apprenticeship reforms were announced in October 2013, initially across eight sectors, including financial services.
The apprenticeship for financial advice businesses received ministerial sign off in March 2014 and the state is now offering £1.5bn of funding for apprenticeship schemes.
Marcus Bowsher, an independent consultant and project leader for the new paraplanner apprenticeship, said: “The overall strategy is to build an apprenticeship that creates a clear pathway for new entrants, or existing employees, to develop their careers through a professionally recognised route.
“We believe that, by establishing the new apprenticeship for a paraplanner, we are further supporting the financial services sector by encouraging those already in the profession or individuals looking for a change, as well as those who may not have chosen a university path, to establish a fulfilling career that is wholly recognised by professional bodies like the CII, the PFS and the IFP.”
Lee Travis, chief executive of the New Model Business Academy and chairman of the employer group, said they have found overwhelming support for the work being done on the new apprenticeship through a recent survey.
“Our results showed 98 per cent of respondents agreed with both the need for this apprenticeship and the competencies required for the role which the employer group have defined.”
Paraplanner apprenticeships were unveiled as PFS chief executive Keith Richards announced an estimated 3,000 of the society’s 36,000 members are paraplanners.