UK advice industry failing to attract graduates

The UK financial advice industry is failing to recruit graduates and trainees into the sector, according to a new study by Investec Wealth & Investment (IW&I).

UK advice industry failing to attract graduates

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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.

A poll conducted by the IW&I of just under 100 advisers revealed 55% believed the sector is “failing” to recruit sufficient numbers of graduates and trainees.

The lack of young talent entering the profession comes at a critical time when over a third (36%) of intermediaries, who own or are partners in IFA firms, plan to retire in the next decade.

Of these, one in seven (14%) is planning to recruit a successor from within their business to eventually take over, found the IW&I survey.

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

Mark Stevens, head of intermediary services, Investec Wealth & Investment, said although advisers are keen to recruit graduates and bright school leavers, many firms are overlooked for graduate programmes which offer more structured learning.

“This is a growing problem facing the sector and unless steps are taken to attract more young talent it risks a shortfall of qualified advisers in the coming years. 

“Many firms who want to recruit younger staff have historically relied on larger bank/assurance companies to deliver the foundation training required.

“Whilst many advisers are keen to take on graduates and bright school leavers they sadly get overlooked if they do not offer formal graduate schemes and have a much lower profile at universities and colleges compared to other professions. 

Better training schemes

IW&I research found that identified several measures to overcome the current recruit gap at trainee and graduate level.

The most popular choice was to introduce better training and mentoring schemes, followed by building stronger links to universities and colleges. 

Another way is  to offer more placements and internships to those considering a career in financial planning followed by offering graduates a clearer and more structured career framework.

“It’s clear that advisers recognise the need for a more structured approach and with many advisers approaching retirement, there is the risk that a lack of fresh blood coming through becomes a real threat.

“The investment and financial planning environment is unlikely to get any easier in the years to come so it is vital that the financial advisory sector works together to replenish the pool of talent and experience it will lose,” said Stevens. 

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