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In with the new (you)

As we all know, highly skilled teams are crucial to providing the best possible service. The talent pool in the north has dwindled in recent years, partly due to the contraction of the insurance industry which has historically provided a volume of experienced candidates. There are also more growing businesses, like Equilibrium, that require fresh talent to maintain exceptional levels of service. This has created a gap in the market, meaning that skilled paraplanners are harder to come by than ever.

It’s important for us to fill that gap to ensure that our clients continue to be serviced by knowledgeable professionals. As wealth managers, we can have as much influence on someone’s future happiness as their doctor, solicitor or accountant.

The job of a paraplanner is extremely diverse, and the role varies between the many wealth managers and IFA’s in the market, meaning that the paraplanner role is ideal for those that crave client contact, technical specialism or a hybrid of the two. We’ve always seen paraplanning as a standalone career and one that takes hard work – studying for a Diploma in Financial Planning and beyond whilst working full time is no mean feat!

To help tackle this problem, back in 2015 we decided to start a graduate scheme to encourage new paraplanning talent into the industry. We knew we needed to address the shortage of paraplanners in our market, so we created a programme that would see graduates fully qualified within two years. The programme is constantly evolving and, as our Founder Colin Lawson knows only too well (having never attended university), you don’t need a degree to be an exceptional paraplanner. With this in mind, we opened our scheme up to anyone with a passion for wealth management. This could be a school leaver, a graduate or someone looking to retrain within our industry and get the CII Diploma in Financial Planning.

We are pleased to see that Equilibrium is not alone in focusing on nurturing talent. More training schemes, academies and programmes are being invested in. Businesses throughout the sector are doing their best to attract exceptional candidates and, in turn, keep this wonderful industry fresh and interesting. Why is this so great? It’s great for the talent that benefits from the training, it’s great for the company that can utilise this talent and it’s great for the industry, as it means that there are people rising through the ranks and, at some point, into the market.