The Financial Services National Training Organisation (FSNTO) is to launch a project later this year...
The Financial Services National Training Organisation (FSNTO) is to launch a project later this year to bring together leading industry employers and trade organisations to formulate ways to attract more into financial advising as a career.
The work goes hand in hand with the FSNTO's input into the FSA's examinations review aimed at creating a single modular series of examinations for IFAs and do away with the alphabet soup of exam designations.
The FSNTO believes that there is increasing concern in the IFA community over the average age of IFAs and the lack of fresh talent entering the industry.
Teresa Sayers, business development manager at the FSNTO, said last year the average age of the IFA community was 55 and it was perceived that the lack of a clear career progression such as lawyers or doctors enjoy was a major barrier to recruiting young quality individuals into the industry.
She said that firms looking to recruit in order to expand their business were increasingly competing for the talents of a relatively small number of more experienced IFAs, partly because of compliance red tape, and partly because there were so few quality new entrants.
The scope of the project will be formulated after 5 April with the FSNTO acting as a forum bringing together industry employers and organisations to decide on how best to approach the issue.
Sayers said: "The age profile of IFAs is a concern for the industry and there is a perceived need for a structured training programme for new entrants because employers are increasingly having to poach people from other organisations or networks and there doesn't tend to be a lot of fresh blood coming through."
The concept of the FSNTO as a facilitator is the core proposal of its business plan for 2001/2002, which is currently out to consultation with member firms.
The aim is to create a small hub, with as small a number of employees as possible, able to develop industry training and competence across the whole financial services industry through consultants and working groups.
The FSNTO's first project for the intermediary industry was the IFA toolkit which is to go on general sale in April for a nominal fee.
The guide will be free to the new body's members.
The toolkit will be available online for the much lower price of £25 through the FSNTO's website at www.fsnto.org.
The paper-based version can be obtained by contacting Vicky Robinson, sector support executive at the FSNTO, on 0207 260 3545.
Full year membership fees from 1 April will be charged according to the number of employees that a firm has.
Smaller companies with between one and 99 employees will pay £250 per annum, if they choose to become members.
The sliding scale of charges goes up to £20,000 for firms with more than 20,000 employees.
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