Financial services sector leads the way with a ground-breaking new college for graduates
Unemployment figures out yesterday showed a slight decline of 0.2% in the youth unemployment rate to 21.9%, only a slight abatement in the alarming trend of youth unemployment which recently reached a twenty-year high.

Meanwhile the financial services sector is leading the way with a ground-breaking new initiative, a Graduate Foundation College, which fast-tracks unemployed graduates and enhances their employability.

Starting in September, a pilot programme will create opportunities for up to 150 young, unemployed graduates and increase their employability for small to medium-sized advisory firms, potentially leading to careers as a financial advisers.

Liz Field, CEO of Financial Skills Partnership, comments: “This visionary new idea will give unemployed graduates access to rewarding careers in a sector which many young people have traditionally found difficult to enter, and open up the industry to recruitment from a wider and more diverse pool of keen and able candidates.”

Small and medium-sized businesses make up over 90% of the financial services sector. Traditionally constrained by the demands of serving their market, these firms tend to rely on recruiting existing advisors. Finding the time and resources to devote to training and upskilling new talent can be difficult.

FSP has addressed this specific need through the Graduate Foundation College by creating a structured training programme which enables graduates to be ready to hit the ground running when joining SMEs.

Liz Field: “The Graduate Foundation College will provide small and medium-sized firms in the sector a pre-selected pool of high quality candidates who can contribute from day one. These can help firms grow their businesses and compete in a fast–changing market-place serving an increasingly diverse customer base.”

The College will deliver a concentrated pre-employment training programme encompassing on-line virtual learning, face-to-face exam preparation and work experience. Major sector employers such as Aviva, Just Retirement and Scottish Widows will help provide the training, ensuring its quality and industry relevance.

Successful candidates will be offered work placements with participating SMEs, and many of them will then be offered permanent jobs. SMEs employing them will benefit and have access to a pre-trained pool of able and highly motivated candidates.