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Personal Finance Society
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News Release: PFS survey reveals bullish employment prospects in financial advice

More than three quarters of financial advice firms are considering taking on additional staff in the next few years, according to a Personal Finance Society (PFS) survey.

The professional body's 2016 Member Survey reveals that 46% of firms have plans to take on additional staff over the next 1-3 years, with an additional 30% saying they are uncertain but may consider boosting their workforce over that timeframe.

Less than one quarter of respondents to the survey said they did not have any plans to take on more staff in the near term (24%).

While the results indicate a strong intention to hire, the survey also revealed that a lack of new talent remained a major concern within the profession. More than one in five respondents (22%) said a lack of talent and skilled trainees was a major threat to the success of their business over the next 1-3 years.

PFS chief executive Keith Richards said: "The survey results reinforce the need to encourage and support new talent in the profession, which is vital to meeting succession planning requirements, and the needs of an increasing number of consumers who require professional financial advice."

"We have recently sponsored the development of a new Financial Adviser apprenticeship standard, which offers a much-needed alternative route for advisers to enter the profession. We will be launching additional support and 'good practice' guidance for member firms throughout 2017."

"Apprenticeships can help to overcome many of the financial barriers facing financial planning firms seeking new talent, and together with several other initiatives, will go a long way to easing the increasing risk of a skills shortage developing further in the coming years."

The Department for Education approved the new specialist Financial Adviser apprenticeship standard in November, offering employers up to £9,600 in financial assistance to contribute towards the development of a competent financial adviser.

More than 1,600 PFS members responded to the professional body's 2016 Member Survey, which was conducted between 11 October and 8 November, and asked a series of questions about PFS services and the general business and economic environment.

Two in five respondents to the survey said they were likely or very likely to offer technical apprenticeships in the next 1-3 years (40%), while work placements and internships were a little more popular, attracting the interest of 44% of respondents.

Graduate schemes were less popular, with a third of survey respondents saying they were likely or very likely to offer a graduate scheme in the next three years (34%).

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