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Skills Academy gets £100,000 to boost apprenticeships

The National Skills Academy for Financial Services wants more financial services firms to take on apprentices.

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Financial services firms need to invest in the future.

The National Skills Academy for Financial Services has secured £100,000 in Government funding for a pilot scheme to promote apprenticeships in the financial services sector.

The pilot will enable the NSAFS to meet small and medium sized firms in the sector to highlight the benefits of apprenticeships and put employers in touch with quality providers of apprenticeship training, including colleges.

The aim is to overcome the barriers that prevent SMEs taking on apprentices and increase the number of apprenticeships within the sector.

The NSAFS says the Government has highlighted the need to make SMEs aware of apprenticeships, their benefits and finding suitable training providers.

NSAFS executive director Nigel Benton says apprenticeships can benefit financial services firms by providing sector-specific training that serves their needs, reducing recruitment costs and giving firms an extra pair of hands in the form of the training provider.

He says: “One of the issues is that the sector doesn’t have the culture and history of using apprenticeships as a method of training staff. Apprenticeships are usually associated with engineering and construction, that sort of thing.

“But apprenticeships are far more relevant to the financial services sector than the majority of employers realise. Our message to them is please give it a chance; have a chat with us and let us point you in the right direction.”

Almary Green managing director Carl Lamb says: ”We are all getting older and have got to invest in young blood. We took on two graduates last year but the problem is not a lot of people are prepared to invest for the future.

“I’m not expecting this pilot to change things overnight but it is a step in the right direction.”

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