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Skills Council accused of lacking direction

Industry trade bodies branded the Financial Services Skills Council an ineffectual organisation lacking direction at the Money Marketing Live event last week.

Member of the Training Debate panel LIA head of public affairs John Ellis raised concerns that the council has floundered since the departure of chief executive David Jackman last December.

He thinks the loss of Jackman, the driving force behind the exam review agenda, has stalled the entire exam programme and is calling for further support from the FSA.

The council will publish a feedback paper on the exam review later this month.

But Sofa managing director Bob Bullivant echoed Ellis&#39s concern that the council&#39s initiatives seemed to have “ground to a halt”.

Bullivant favours the introduction of a modular exam system that would allow advisers to specialise in specific areas such as inheritance tax or pension planning.

Ellis says: “We need to get to a position where advisers are professionally recognised. The thing that has defeated us so far is regulation placing all the emphasis on the firms to manage their own qualifications.”

A skills council representative was unable to attend the meeting.

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