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FSSC urges IFA firms to back special diplomas

New initiative is aimed at 14-19-year-olds as big number of employees reach retirement age

The Financial Services Skills Council is calling on IFA firms to join forces and help develop business and finance diplomas for 14-19-year-olds to encourage new blood into the sector.

The FSSC is promoting the specialised diploma, one of 14 being rolled out by the Government, and hopes that financial adviser firms will join other industry stakeholders in providing guidance on learning content and work placements for students.

FSSC diploma development manager Heather Taylor says it is in the interests of firms to contribute to the diplomas to ensure that the practical skills needed by future entrants to the industry are taken into account in training and exams.

The FSSC hopes the first diplomas will be awarded from 2009 through a pilot scheme, with students graduating nationwide by 2013.

The initiative comes in res-ponse to a Government White Paper last February and aims to provide graduates with essential skills and capabilities to meet employer’s needs in business, admin and finance.

Taylor says the more firms that contribute the greater the future benefit, especially in a sector where a big number of employees are reaching retirement age and there is a perceived lack of new blood.

She says: ‘This is an exceptional opportunity to shape how and what our young people learn to prepare them effectively for a career in business, admin, finance or fin-ancial services. The widest possible range of stakeholders must be involved in the development of the diploma learning content.”

Consilium managing director Kevin Morgan says: “I have been involved locally with skills council initiatives and admire the FSSC’s intentions. It cert-ainly could have a positive effect on our industry but we have to keep our eye on the ball to ensure it provides genuine benefit and investment is not lost in the chain.”

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