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Lewis says industry needs young blood

Treasury economic secretary Ivan Lewis has challenged the financial services industry to produce a strategy to attract young people to be IFAs.

Lewis says the industry must ask, “How are we going to sed-uce young people to become IFAs?” and seriously look at what is being offered to new entrants in financial services.

He says he is keen to get involved in any future projects and wants to sit down with the industry to discuss a skills strategy to meet future challenges such as introducing fresh blood into the IFA market.

Lewis says he is disapp- ointed to see that the Financial Services Skills Council is reducing staff numbers at a time when the industry should be doing more to attract new entrants and improve train- ing facilities.

Lewis, whose previous role was Parliamentary under secretary for skills and vocat- ional education, says if the industry is serious about improving employee skill levels, it should be willing to invest more money in such work.

The Skills Council, jointly funded by the Government and the industry, reduced staff numbers last week due to restructuring.

Lewis says he is personally interested in the subject of training because of his prev-ious brief and the fact that the challenge has to be faced to ensure the future health of the industry.

He questions why it is so desirable for graduates in countries such as Australia to want to become financial advisers but not in the UK, and how this desire can be transferred to Britain.

Lewis says: “It is very disappointing to see the FSSC reducing numbers. If the industry is serious about the skills of its people, it should be willing to invest more money.

“I am really keen to get involved in this area and if required would love to sit down with the industry and discuss a skills strategy for the future.”

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