Recruiting young talent within the financial services industry.

One of the topics currently being debated in our sector is where the financial advisers of the future will come from.

Recent research shows that 15% of firms are planning to recruit more advisers, while 19% are looking to recruit or make more use of paraplanners and/or administrators.

Below we highlight some of the initiatives available for firms seeking to recruit new talent:

Financial & Business Services Industrial Partnership

Graduate Foundation College

Babington Business College



Apprenticeships logo Financial & Business Services Industrial Partnership


A number of financial services companies, led by Barclays, Sesame Bankhall Group and Capita, have come together to form the Financial & Business Services Industrial Partnership, which is aiming to attract more young people to careers in financial and business services.

The government announced last year that the Partnership was one of a small number of employer groups who would be acting as "Trailblazers", early adopters of the reforms to apprenticeships that the government is currently implementing.

As part of the work being done by the financial services Trailblazers, Financial, Openwork, Sesame Bankhall Group, SimplyBiz and Tenet, with input from SMEs (including APFA members), have developed a new standard for a Financial Services Administrator (Adviser Firm or Network) apprenticeship. The intention is that it forms an entry point into the profession for talented young people who have chosen not to go to University. It is seen as the first step in a career pathway that could lead to a range of roles including paraplanner, operational management or financial adviser.

This new style of apprenticeship describes the knowledge and skills that an individual needs to have to be able to perform the role competently, and it will then assess the individual against them to determine if they have reached the standard required to pass the apprenticeship.

The work on this project is on-going, and we will update this page as it progresses.



Financial Skills Partnership logo Graduate Foundation College



The Graduate Foundation College is an industry-led initiative developed by the Financial Skills Partnership to help young graduates qualify as advisers and fill much needed positions in small and medium sized advisory firms across the country.

The College offers a structured programme of academic training and industry experience to young graduates in order to increase their employability as future advisers.

Participating firms who are interested in recruiting new talent but who cannot necessarily fund their initial training and induction into the profession will have access to these candidates as potential new employees.

The candidates will achieve an entry level standard into the world of financial advice or compliance and during the programme candidates will be introduced to a participating firm, which in turn provides invaluable insight and experience. At the same time, the firm can assess the employability of their candidate as well as build a potentially highly beneficial new relationship for the longer term.

The College delivers a 10 week pre-employment training programme, with access to e-learning, face-to-face workshops, exam preparation training and invaluable industry experience for successful graduates.

Participating firms will be able to take on candidates with a view to offering an internship placement and increase the probability of employing fresh talent into their business, with a lot of the hard work already done for them. Participating firms will be required to offer a minimum three month paid internship to a selected candidate, with continued training (if possible).

More information can be found on the Financial Skills Partnership website.



Babington College logo "Providing Financial Services" apprenticeship


Babington Business College has launched an apprenticeship in "Providing Financial Services" aimed specifically at financial advisers. Whilst other training providers run similar courses, most tend to be focussed on the banking and insurance sectors.

Babington can source A-level standard candidates for employers (or you can recruit your own apprentice or apply the apprenticeship to an existing young employee, if you prefer) and deliver on the job training to them covering a range of relevant subject areas. Over 12 months the apprentice can obtain a number of qualifications including:
  • FA1 (CII exam in Financial Administration),
  • NVQ in "Providing Financial Services", and
  • a certificate in Customer Service.
After 12 months there is the option to continue with a higher level apprenticeship & further professional qualifications.

Employers must give the apprentice a 12 month paid contract, for minimum of 30 hours per week (salary must be at least minimum wage) but there is no obligation to extend the contract at the end of the period.

This is an opportunity for firms to give a young person their first job and the opportunity to experience a career in financial services. There is government funding of £1,500 available as an incentive to employ them and the training is government funded so can be free of charge to the employer (depending on the age of the apprentice). Firms should, however, be aware that this scheme only applies in England, not the rest of the UK.

So for firms looking to expand, this could be a good way of getting a young and enthusiastic trainee in the office to help support your advisers, whilst potentially growing the paraplanners or advisers of the future for your business.

More information about the "Providing Financial Services" apprenticeship.

More general information about apprenticeships can be found on the National Apprenticeship Service's website.