New Model Business Academy (NMBA) chief executive Lee Travis on being invited to No 10 to talk about the importance of apprentices in financial services.
Last week I was fortunate enough to attend a meeting at number 10 Downing Street, hosted by George Osborne, to celebrate NMBA's recent work and commitment to developing apprenticeships within financial services.
I received my invitation (... or should I say ‘the pleasure of my company was requested'...) from the Prime Minister's office, no less!
So, what did I do to deserve this?
Over the past 12 months, the NMBA has been working with Marcus Bowsher, a consultant specialising in financial services apprenticeships and developing new ways of supporting financial advisory businesses to bring new young talent into our profession.
As we are all well aware, businesses still need extra support, either as part of post Retail Distribution Review (RDR) business models or to support expansion and growth.
This work evolved into a partnership with Babington Business College to offer specialist financial services apprenticeships to NMBA members.
As a result of this work, the NMBA was selected as one of the core members of the steering group created to develop new style apprenticeships known as ‘Trailblazers'.
This is an initiative run by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills led by Mathew Hancock MP, to develop simpler apprenticeship schemes and, most importantly, to give employers the opportunity to drive the agenda to develop the specific skills required to address current business needs.
As a result of consultation across the financial advice sector, and with input from training and education providers, the Financial Services Trailblazer group successfully submitted a proposal to the Minister for an entry level Financial Administrator apprenticeship.
Why Downing Street?
To celebrate the success of our work in apprenticeships and the new submission, we were asked to recommend two current apprentices who had joined NMBA member firms through our relationship with Babington Business College, and we all travelled down to Downing Street to join other successful Trailblazer groups from other industry sectors for a reception at number 10.
It was incredibly encouraging to see so many professions united around the need for finding new ways to introduce young talent into our respective sectors; and we are looking forward to working together as the campaign progresses in order to ensure a constant stream of talent and knowledge into industry.
Financial services deserves to be recognised as a true vocation for professionals and with the government's support as well as our combined innovation, I believe Trailblazers could secure the future of our industry.
Read why Lee Travis thinks the industry should all get behind the PFS's Consumer Confidence Campaign HERE
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