Apprentice - Financial services administrator

Clare_WeightClare_Weight Member
edited March 31 in Team leaders & managers
Hi everyone,

We're thinking of taking on a Financial Services Administrator apprentice.

Have you done this before and is there a provider you would recommend serving the Bournemouth area?

Would like the provider to be a specialist in financial services if possible or at least legal, accountancy, insurance or similar.
12 results here if these names ring any bells:

I think I understand the 90% gov funding up to the cap, does the training provider apply for the funding and take a cut? What is the typical cost?

Thanks in advance



  • Hi @Clare_Weight
    Just wondering if you got anywhere with your search for apprenticeships?

    I have just found out that my boss has committed us to a "fast-track-growth" thingy and we need to take on a/some new apprentices - possibly before the end of the year!!

    We had an apprentice before who was on a Level 3 general business administrator apprenticeship from the local college. The course was OK, but this time want to focus more on the more specialised role so looking at either Level 3 Financial services Adminstrator or Level 4 Paraplanner.
    Has anyone ever taken on a FS apprentice or used any of the 4 training providers?

    Simply Academy
    Davies Learning Solutions
    Financial Services Training Partners
    Skills Edge Training

  • Clare_WeightClare_Weight Member
    edited November 9

    Hi Becky, we didn't go any further with this. I initially thought the business gets gov support with the costs and in a manner of speaking they do, but if you go with a training provider my understanding is that they get all the government money. Actually looks like a bit of a swizz for them! They all charge for their various apprenticeships fees identical to the maximum funding available which differs by industry. Hmm. You can run the training in house but the paperwork / compliance was very off putting for a small business. My impression was it would only really work if training co-ordinator was someone's job in a larger business.

    The apprentice wage is payable to school leaver ages and I have found things like punctuality, attendance, being appropriately dressed, speaking clearly (ie on the phone), basic organisation and common sense can be a real struggle. Sounds harsh but I've seen it all too often. If it was casual employment (ie OK start on Monday and see how you get on) as school leaver jobs often are, that person could just be let go if not realistically likely to get up to scratch. But when you have gone through all the hassle of taking on an apprentice you will be several hours of your time invested and probably several weeks behind on your business plans if you have to start all over again.

    You likely won't get the opportunity to be picky about your apprentice, there aren't that many applying. A previous employer found it took several months to get their apprentice. 'You should have seen all the others we interviewed' I was told! I suspect the reason they took on someone doing a general business admin qualification was that the training provider at least had some candidates to send their way.

    20% of the week is paid time off and there will be a considerable cost to the business of supervising a potentially needy employee. Even if they do have a good attitude, there is a lot involved for the employer. Depending on how much slack you have and whose regular capacity you're going to sacrifice, you could very easily see dip in your growth drive for at least 6 months, probably a year. You are not recompensed for this if all the money is going to an external training provider so it just didn't seem worth it to us.

    We actually took on an experienced part timer this year but if we were to look again at training someone up ourselves it would probably be someone with some experience, ideally in a life office or insurance company. We'd obviously be paying at least the normal minimum wage but I imagine this would be better value for money if avoiding the above mentioned issues. We'd then offer this candidate the chance to complete an apprenticeship with us. So recruit in the normal way rather than taking placements from the training providers if that makes sense. This way around, I think you are more likely to get a suitable candidate working with a Financial Services training provider.

    The financials may look different if you're a large business paying the Apprenticeship Levy. But honestly, it is complicated! The system is not user user friendly to employers at all, I basically had a look and thought what a PITA so very possible I haven't fully / clearly understood so. Please do your own research and let me know if I have any points wrong! This may be a good place to start.

  • Hi Clare,

    I'm feeling bad because I forgot to check back and see if anyone had replied to my posts :#
    We've decided to give it a go and have gone with Skills Edge. The funding works out that if they are age 16-18 we pay nothing and if they are over 19 then it costs us £600+VAT. Covers the cost of the apprenticeship training and the CII R01 exam and training. We're hoping to get somebody on board before 31st Jan as there's a government incentive payment of £3k - £4k which would cover a couple of months wages.

    Our previous business admin apprentice was great (I think we fell on our feet with her), so we're hopeful to find someone good again. But realistically I think we might struggle to have many applicants because how many 16-18 year olds know about financical services as a career? At the end of the day, if we don't find anyone suitable we'll readvertise or try and recruit a different way. We've made sure to offer a good deal more than the minimum (pitiful) apprentice wage in the hope we can attract maybe slightly older or ambitious candidates.

    The 20% off the job training was not a problem for us before as we have so much training material available and so many bespoke systems that any new recuit would have to do it anyway.

    I get your point about not being able to easily let someone go if they are not up to scratch. I will take that on board and perhaps we won't sign them up to the apprentiship training straight away. As I mentioned before there is more than enough training they wil need to do when they start with us that we can give them a few weeks to bed in.

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