I was having a very interesting conversation last week about graduate training programs for those wishing to enter the financial advice profession.
As an industry, we have to encourage new entrants-despite the obstacles that regulation and associated costs throw up.
I understand that with one government sponsored scheme nearly a thousand applied to the scheme yet over half fall at the first hurdle, and that is because in a large part they seem unable to coherently read and write.
Now we should be aware that the individuals applying for this aided scheme are graduates!
They have somehow managed to access university education without some very basic and essential educational and life skills, only to exit with a degree; but not the ability to read, write, and matriculate in a consistent way and to a standard that would be acceptable to an employer looking to recruit a graduate entrant.
Things get worse it would seem, as those who are successful in getting on this government-aided scheme continue to drop out along the way. This has reached such an extent that by the end of the programme, the final number of qualified graduates available to put out to firms on a three-month internship has reduced from a starting point of 1,000 to just over 100.
The future of financial services lies in firms being able to recruit good quality, intelligent individuals with the ability to communicate well.
But where are they?
We would be interested in hearing from firms who have tried to recruit new entrants, regarding their experience and the outcome
Do tell us:
How many have you rejected to get the right person?
Can they read and write to your expected standards?
Are they numerically able to do the job?
Are they reliable?
Have interpersonal and social skills?
And most importantly, are they willing to learn?
It is simply crazy for the UK education system to allow individuals to enter university if they are not able to read or write, add and subtract to at least a minimum standard.
There may be some good reasons why the best graduates are not attracted, let’s hope that in putting together this information from various businesses’ experiences of bringing graduate trainees on board, we can understand more and begin to correct the problems in the education and training system. Only then will the push for new blood into the industry have a chance at being successful.