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New financial services apprenticeship standard gains support from professional bodies

14 March, 2017Eoghan Hughes

Six leading professional bodies in the banking and financial services industry have lent their support to a new Apprenticeship Standard, the Financial Services Professional.

The London Institute of Banking & Finance, the Chartered Banker Institute, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment, the CFA UK, the Chartered Institute of Credit Management and the Pensions Management Institute are working together and with employers to promote the qualification, as well as supporting its delivery.

The Financial Services Professional Apprenticeship, as a degree-level, Higher Apprenticeship, means apprentices joining the industry will have the opportunity to study towards a recognised degree or professional qualification. It covers a range of roles and skills which are crucial to a career in the global financial services industry. These include retail, commercial and investment banking, operations and workplace pensions, among others. It can also be used for existing members of staff looking to progress their careers.

The Apprenticeship Standard is expected to be approved by the Department for Education in the coming weeks and will soon be offered by select employers.

Mike Thompson, Director Early Careers at Barclays, and Chair of the trailblazer group for this apprenticeship standard, said:

“The new Financial Services Professional standard will be the first degree apprenticeship standard in the financial services sector, and will create a single umbrella entry pathway into the diverse parts of financial services, particularly in banking which is traditionally viewed as a sector only university graduates work in. Through apprenticeships we can open up opportunities to people from all backgrounds with the ability to earn while they learn, in our exciting and fast-paced industry.”

Quotes from professional bodies:
Martin Day, Managing Director, Corporate & Professional Qualifications at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, said:

“The Financial Services Professional Apprenticeship is an important new initiative that supports employers looking to attract a diverse range of new talent.

“We look forward to working with our fellow professional bodies and employers to ensure young people joining the industry are given every possible chance to reach their potential.”

Neil Scott, Head of Professional Standards, The Pensions Management Institute, said:

“The Financial Services Professional apprenticeship standard will help candidates pursuing a variety of careers within financial services and support employers with training and development initiatives. We are delighted that workplace pensions is an option within the standard and look forward to working with other professional bodies and employers in offering this career pathway to a diverse range of candidates.”

Richard Bennett, CISI Regional Director said:

“This Financial Services Professional Apprenticeship will make a career in our sector more accessible to a diverse pool of talent and help to promote social mobility. The UK financial services sector contributed 11% or £176bn of total UK Gross Value Added (GVA) in 2015 and employs 7% of the population, therefore encouraging new talented entrants from all walks of life is key.

“The Apprenticeship will help those new entrants to the profession to become work-ready, gaining those employability skills which are so important for both firms and for individual’s career development.”

Giles Cuthbert, Managing Director, Chartered Banker Institute, said:

“We are delighted to have been involved with the development of this standard, which is a welcome addition to the existing standards for banking and financial services. The creation of a degree-level apprenticeship, is extremely complementary to the Institute’s range of existing relationships with universities, offering high quality banking degrees that are recognised for Institute membership. We look forward to working with employers, universities and other professional bodies in embedding the new standard and developing a range of outstanding programmes to support new entrants.”

Nick Bartlett, Director of Education, CFA UK, said:

“The Financial Services Professional Apprenticeship provides a compelling development framework for the next generation of investment professionals. It provides an excellent opportunity for employers, professional bodies and universities to come together to enhance the skills and competencies within the sector, and to do so in a cost effective and efficient way. We are very pleased to have been involved in this initiative.”