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Chartered company launches apprenticeship scheme

Chartered company launches apprenticeship scheme

A Chartered financial planning company has partnered with a university to launch an apprenticeship scheme.

Cheltenham-based Attivo Group has said its partnership with the University of Gloucestershire is the first of its kind and will be funded by the government's apprenticeship levy.

Stephen Harper, Attivo's chief executive and founder, said the first 12 candidates would enrol next month.

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He said: "There are fewer regulated financial advisers today than there were in the past. We have been recruiting from a very small pool and even when you recruit from other businesses, the problem is they don't necessarily work how we work.

"A real barrier to our growth is recruitment so we recognise we have got to grow our own."

Over a period of 18 months, the apprentices will sit six Chartered Insurance Institute exams to achieve the level four Diploma in Financial Planning.

As well as working for Attivo, they will attend lectures at the University of Gloucestershire's business school.

Jocelyn Fleming, academic subject lead at the University of Gloucestershire, said: "The School of Business and Technology is delighted to be working in partnership with an ambitious company like Attivo Group who are focusing on the development of their people to create a current and relevant workforce for the future."

A financial advice apprenticeship was approved by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills in 2016 and since then the Personal Finance Society has launched its Aspire programme to help advisers access funding for taking on an apprentice and provide a training programme.

Companies with payrolls of more than £3m - such as Attivo - have their apprenticeships funded through a levy but those which do not have theirs funded through co-investment.

This means 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.

From next month the proportion which companies must contribute will fall from 10 per cent to 5 per cent, meaning a small advice firm would only have to pay £450.

damian.fantato@ft.com