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How to train and retain employees

This article is part of
How to future-proof your workforce

How to train and retain employees

Financial advice can only be given by professionals who are fully qualified, so qualifications and training have always been a priority in the industry.

No matter the size of the firm, their financial advisers all need to meet certain requirements before going in front of clients.

As Fiona Treadwell, talent and development business partner at Mattioli Woods, notes it is not just the need to be qualified to the correct level, it is also a requirement to ensure any advisers and paraplanners in a firm are on top of the latest regulatory changes.

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“Training is essential. Our world moves so fast - legislation is ever evolving, regimes often short-term,” she says. 

“Therefore it is essential that advisers are given the best tools to stay up-to-date and be at the cutting edge of legislative change.”

Game changer

Recruiting and retaining a highly qualified workforce can be a challenge, although the introduction of the apprenticeship scheme has gone some way to helping.

In November 2016 the Department for Education approved the financial advice apprenticeship after an application led by the Personal Finance Society.

The scheme offers employers up to £9,600 in financial assistance towards the training of a financial adviser.

Darren Smith, head of Old Mutual Wealth’s Financial Adviser School, acknowledges: “Prior to the launch of the government’s apprenticeship scheme, this was one of the biggest issues in the industry. This was particularly the case for smaller firms, which can lack resources to offer training. 

“Having someone come on as an apprentice gives them a formal structure and a lot of engagement.”

He calls the structured apprenticeship scheme a “game changer” for the industry.

Richard Freeman, chief distribution officer at Old Mutual Wealth, continues: “Many Intrinsic firms have contracts which encourage their staff to develop careers within the business. 

“Several of our firms are also hoping to benefit from the government’s new apprenticeship model, which will make it more cost effective for them to offer roles that can then develop into more senior positions, such as paraplanners, leading on to financial planners and even partners in the business.” 

He agrees: “Smaller firms have to manage their budgets with care and the apprenticeship model gives them the opportunity to attract and develop new talent.”

Knowledge sharing

Training and retention can provide opportunities for both those who are new to the financial advice space or who have recently joined a business, and more senior figures in a firm the chance to form a relationship.

Cath McVey, HR director at Ascot Lloyd, explains: “Our approach to training the younger generation is slightly different. Those entering the job market want to learn from leaders. They are confident and want to be listened to – they are technically competent and require feedback.