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Employment prospects on the rise in UK financial advice

More than three quarters of financial advice firms in the UK are considering taking on additional staff in the next few years, according to a Personal Finance Society (PFS) survey.

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The professional body’s 2016 Member Survey, which questioned 1,600 PFS members, found that 46% of firms have plans to take on additional staff over the next one to three years.

An additional 30% said they are uncertain but may consider boosting their workforce over that timeframe.

Less than one quarter of respondents to the survey said they did not have any plans to take on more staff in the near term (24%).

While the results indicate a strong intention to hire, the survey also revealed that a lack of new talent remained a major concern within the profession.

Lack of talent

More than one in five respondents (22%) said a lack of talent and skilled trainees was a major threat to the success of their business over the next one to three years.

PFS chief executive Keith Richards said: “The survey results reinforce the need to encourage and support new talent in the profession, which is vital to meeting succession planning requirements, and the needs of an increasing number of consumers who require professional financial advice.”

Financial adviser apprenticeship

Richards added that the PFS recently sponsored the development of the new Financial Adviser apprenticeship standard, approved by British government last December.

The Department for Education will offer employers up to £9,600 ($11,979, €11,270) in financial help toward the training of a competent adviser.

“Apprenticeships can help to overcome many of the financial barriers facing financial planning firms seeking new talent, and together with several other initiatives, will go a long way to easing the increasing risk of a skills shortage developing further in the coming years,” said Richards.

Around 40% of respondents to the survey said they were likely or very likely to offer technical apprenticeships over the next three years, while 44% said they were attracted to offering work placements and internships.

Graduate schemes were less popular, with just a third of survey respondents saying they were likely or very likely to offer a graduate scheme in the next three years.

Adviser ‘shortfall’

The findings come despite Investec Wealth & Investment (IW&I) last December revealing that the UK’s financial advice industry is failing to recruit graduates and trainees into the sector.

The investment manager said that unless steps are taken to attract young talent, there will be a serious “shortfall” of qualified advisers in the years ahead.

Last year, International Adviser also reported on the recruitment crisis currently facing the expat advisory market around the world.

 

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