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Paraplanning apprenticeship launches

Paraplanning apprenticeship launches

The New Model Business Academy will begin taking applications for a paraplanning apprenticeship tomorrow (December 13).

The programme will start on February 1 and be open to 20 people on a six-monthly cycle.

NMBA, which is a not-for-profit division of SimplyBiz, already runs a financial advice apprenticeship, which it launched earlier this year and which has taken on 20 people every quarter so far.

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Tom Hegarty, managing director of NMBA, said he had seen considerable demand for a paraplanning apprenticeship from advice firms and outsourced paraplanning companies.

As part of the scheme, apprentices will sit the Chartered Insurance Institute's level four Certificate in Paraplanning.

He said: "One of the biggest concerns firms had prior to apprenticeships was the cost and time involved in training someone. Advisers didn't know where to start.

"The reason the apprenticeship is a really good route is because we provide the structure and a clear track to run on. We know week by week what the trainee should do."

Mr Hegarty also pointed out that the Budget in October had slashed the amount small businesses - which would include many advice firms - would have to pay towards an apprenticeship from next April.

Firms which are too small to pay the government's apprenticeship levy, currently have their apprenticeships funded under "co-investment", where they pay 10 per cent towards the cost of the apprenticeship and the government pays the rest up to the maximum funding band, which in the case of financial advice and paraplanning is £9,000.

But October's Budget cut this to 5 per cent, meaning many advice firms would only have to pay £450 towards funding an apprenticeship.

Mr Hegarty also said apprentice paraplanners could move on to the apprenticeship in financial advice after they have qualified, adding there would be a discount for the units they have already passed.

He added that NMBA was interested in launching a mortgage advice apprenticeship, but this would depend on its funding from the government, which currently allowed for 160 apprentices.