Advisers who bemoan the quality of new entrants to financial services could help fill the skills gaps by going into schools and talking up the industry, the Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) says.
In its self-titled role as industry ‘talent researcher', the FSSC is planning link-ups between advisers and education institutions to push financial services as a career, and funnel those with the right skills set into the industry.
FSSC interim chief executive Liz Field says she is already in talks with two networks about signing up their advisers for the scheme.
"If the industry wants certain skills it must be proactive in going into schools and colleges to create them," she says.
"Advisers say they need good quality communicators, with strong numeracy skills and a decent attitude. We are saying we can help facilitate this if you help by volunteering to promote the industry to young people."
The FSSC must prove it has industry support through employer engagement as part of pledges it made to the Government to justify the renewal of its licence, which was given the official go-ahead last week.
The Council was criticised in the months prior to losing its licence last May, for failing to connect with the community it was created to serve.
IFA and school governor Viv King welcomes the initiative, but says many IFAs are already contributing to their communities, while he has never had any dealings with the FSSC.
"The best thing about being an adviser is getting out and about talking to people, whatever their age. Helping with the curriculum may be deemed a strain on advisers' time but it will be worthwhile."
National IFA the Lighthouse Group said it had so far not been approached by the FSSC, but would be "incredibly supportive" if asked to take part in the scheme.
Head of the Group's risk strategy Mark Ross says: "If NatWest, part of a failed bank, can go into schools with its MoneySense campaign, IFAs would do well to offer a different view."
"Also, from a business perspective, the initiative could open up revenue from affinity business with teachers."
The Government's decision to renew the FSSC's licence follows a strategic review and industry consultation of 1,000 financial services employers and industry stakeholders across the England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
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