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Traineeships for Financial Practice Support Roles

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The growth of the financial advice industry could be aided through increased government support for dedicated traineeships.

Director of The Australian College of Commerce and Management, James Moran, said despite the government’s willingness to grow employment opportunities in financial planning businesses, dedicated traineeships in financial planning practice support are not subject to state and federal funding.

“Financial planning traineeships for support staff are currently not supported by the majority of state governments, while most other roles in finance are,” he said. “Advisers need to send a message to government to say that the financial advice industry is not being treated fairly, and that there is a lot of interest in this area, combined with a need to train people in a cost-effective way.

“Our college is preparing a case to have this changed in NSW, but we need industry support.” He said training providers have recognised the demand for skilled support workers within the financial advice industry, and are beginning to offer specialised, entry-level courses for support staff.

“Our course, for example, provides participants with a Certificate IV in Financial Practices Support. It covers topics such as compliance, understanding plans and strategies, financial planning implementation and customer service. However, this course does not attract training funding in NSW.

“I’m also not sure that many financial advisers know that this qualification is available. Before we developed our course, we had calls from advisers to put their staff into general programs, like Cert III and IV in Financial Services, which are really geared around retail financial services, not financial planning.

“These courses can be expensive. A program like ours would cost around $3,000 to put someone through. For small advice businesses, that kind of expenditure just may not be viable. But if it was done as part of traineeship, in NSW for example, advisers would pay an enrolment fee of $506, and the State Government would pay the balance to the college to deliver the program. The financial adviser could also be eligible for government incentives of up to $4,000.”

Mr Moran believes that traineeships which leverage these new training programs would present small advice businesses with an affordable approach to growing and developing their staff.

“Financial advisers tend to run small businesses, often with less than four people on staff. In a business that size it can be difficult to grow because there is limited capacity within the team to bring in new clients or generate lead opportunities, because of the time needed to be spent on existing clients and administration.

“If advisers were able to bring on a trainee, they could spend more time bringing in new business, while also investing in the skill-set of their practice.”

If you are interested in lending your support to the recognition of financial practice support traineeships, or for more information on the courses available to develop support staff skills, click here to contact Mr Moran.

James Moran

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