IFA  

Govt and industry must encourage careers in advice

Govt and industry must encourage careers in advice

The majority of advisers think both the government and the industry need to do more to encourage young people and job changers to consider a career in financial advice, research has shown.

A study from advice network Openwork, published today (August 2), showed nearly half (48 per cent) of independent financial advisers would recommend becoming an IFA to those considering a career change, while 46 per cent thought it was a good career choice for school leavers and graduates.

But the study found advisers were pessimistic about current recruitment drives, as nearly three quarters (72 per cent) of the 103 IFAs polled believed industry trade bodies and financial services providers needed to work together to attract more recruits.

Meanwhile two thirds (66 per cent) thought providers should expand their apprenticeship programmes to attract and train potential future financial advisers and more than half wanted the government to consider sponsoring new initiatives to attract more advisers into the industry.

The government has an apprenticeship levy in place which helps fund apprenticeships but that supports the business rather than the apprentice.

Claire Limon, director of learning and acquisition at Openwork, said: “The fact that so many advisers would recommend a career in financial advice is testament to the industry itself and the fantastic opportunities it has already provided for many.

“As the demand for advice continues to grow it’s great to see that advisers are positively recommending the profession. That said however there are concerns about the flow of new recruits into the industry.”

Last year SimplyBiz's New Model Business Academy warned that without apprenticeships providing entry points into the industry the numbers of financial advisers would continue to dwindle.

But advice firms have rallied to encourage and train new entrants to the industry, with many setting up academies and schemes to help boost adviser numbers.

SimplyBiz launched its financial adviser apprenticeship programme in March 2018 and has since grown the academy to 160 apprentices and received additional funding from the government to open up more training opportunities for aspiring financial advisers and paraplanners.

Connect for Intermediaries launched its first academy for trainee mortgage brokers in March while Sesame Bankhall Group has launched an apprenticeship scheme at the start of the year.

Openwork itself has seen a record intake of prospective advisers to its training academy this year.

Ms Limon said: “At Openwork we are passionate about encouraging both ‘career-starters’ and ‘career-changers’ to consider a career in financial advice and we are dedicated to attracting as diverse talent pool as possible. 

“Our academy programme welcomes people from all walks of life to pursue a career in the advice industry.”

Openwork has pushed its expansion plans over the past year and just this week announced two new appointments, filling senior roles with managers from Quilter and Blackrock.

The network looks to recruit an additional 250 wealth advisers to its restricted business over the next three years.

imogen.tew@ft.com

What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on fa.letters@ft.com to let us know.