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We need to attract the next generation

Noel Butwell

Noel Butwell

This is easy to get on board with, but what the drive needs to look like in practice is more elusive.

Encouraging as many routes into the profession as possible is at least part of the answer.

Apprenticeship programmes and traineeships are already opening up financial advice to those without a university background.

Indeed, the Financial Planning Traineeship we offer through our 1825 Academy does not require a degree.

To build on this, the concept of lifelong learning should also be fully embraced across the industry.

As a minimum, this means our businesses need to make training available to staff at every stage of their career.

It is the only way the leaps in ability needed to embed new technology across an organisation are possible.

We also know people are working for longer and many will change career path several times before they retire.

Making it easy for workers from different backgrounds to bring their skills to financial services will also extend the talent pool the industry has access too.

Finally, at a more fundamental level, industry leaders need to work with government agencies to encourage initiatives that promote digital and financial literacy in primary, secondary and tertiary education.

This is already happening, but the sponsorship of industry is needed to drive home the importance of these skills in the modern world of work.

By attracting the next generation to our industry, we can ensure the benefits of financial advice are felt more widely, now and in the future.

There is a responsibility to do so, but there is also a significant commercial impetus.

In a fast-moving digital environment, talent needs to be given greater prominence on boardroom agendas, both as a risk and as an opportunity.

Noel Butwell is chief executive of Standard Life Savings