Budget 2021: Boost for apprenticeships 'will help IFA sector'

Budget 2021: Boost for apprenticeships 'will help IFA sector'

The PFS has praised a boost to apprenticeship funding announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in today's Budget.

Speaking to a socially distanced chamber to outline his plans for economic recovery, the chancellor announced incentive grants for apprenticeships would increase from £1,500 to £3,000, and a £126m additional investment in traineeships.

Keith Richards, chief executive of the Personal Finance Society, said: “We want to assist those who may struggle to find work due to Covid-19 access a rewarding career in the insurance and personal finance profession where everyone can help consumers with their money matters.

“Greater incentives for apprentices and employers to offer job placements will result in more individuals being able to access this profession, which is keen to attract fresh and diverse talent.”

Several advice companies have, over the past few years, sought to take advantage of government-backed apprenticeship schemes, to improve diversity and inclusion and to bring fresh blood into the financial advice industry.

Sunak said more than 40,000 young people in England would benefit from the additional £126m investment into traineeships, while the apprenticeship scheme would help people of all ages and backgrounds reskill for "levelling up" Britains economy, the chancellor said. 

This comes as more than 700,000 people have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Despite Covid-19 sending the UK into lockdown in 2020 and 2021, advice-focused organisations such as the New Model Business Academy had been able to mobilise its entire apprenticeship programme remotely.

In May 2020, Richard Ardron, managing director at the NMBA, told FTAdviser the academy was still mentoring its 150 students online and remotely, with 80 per cent of the programme involving academic study and the other constituting on-the-job training. 

In February, FTAdviser reported that the PFS was looking for financial advisers and paraplanners to help review apprenticeship standards for the profession.

Together with the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education, the PFS said it was seeking members for a trailblazer group, tasked with reviewing the financial adviser and paraplanner apprenticeship standards to ensure they are fit for purpose.