National Apprenticeship Week: Ben proves that apprentices can still succeed within the graduate dominated finance industry

Apprenticeships within the financial services sector are often overlooked, but Ben Slater’s success shows that it is possible to thrive within the sector without a degree.   

Having obtained ‘A’ levels in 2013, Ben decided against university choosing instead to pursue a career in the financial services industry through an apprenticeship with Nottingham based Russell Ulyatt Financial Services.

Immediately after leaving college at 18, Ben joined the company and began a professional development plan which would enable him to obtain the necessary qualifications whilst also benefitting from practical on the job learning experiences. Starting with an apprenticeship in client servicing administration, Ben is now well placed to join the ranks of the youngest chartered financial planners in the country.

This combination of professional study and supported career development and experience at Russell Ulyatt, coupled with strong personal motivation has enabled Ben to make good progress towards his career goals in the financial services sector.

After a rigorous 18 months at Russell Ulyatt, Ben had achieved the ‘Award in Financial Administration,’ quickly followed a year later with the ‘Diploma in Financial Planning.’

Now working in the role of ‘Paraplanner’ Ben’s commitment to furthering his career continues unabated. He has begun working towards achieving chartered level status, with examinations booked for April 2017 in AF1 (personal tax and trust planning) and JO2 (trusts.)

Ben’s ultimate aim is to become chartered by the age of 23, the equivalent of achieving an honours level degree. Within the sector this QFC level 6 award is recognised as a prestigious qualification, a bench mark of quality and ethical practice which reflects the pursuit of the highest professional standards.

Financial Services Qualifications

  • NVQ Level 2 and 3 in providing customer service
  • CF1 – UK Financial Services, Regulations and Ethics (Certificate)
  • FA1 – (CF1 and FA1 combined have provided Ben with the award in financial administration)
  • R01 – UK Financial Services, Regulations and Ethics
  • R02 – Investment Principles and Risk
  • R03 – Personal Taxation
  • R04 – Pensions and Retirement Planning
  • R05 – Financial Protection
  • R06 – Financial Planning Practice
  • R08 – Pensions Update

These qualifications have enabled Ben to be awarded the Diploma in Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).

Given the rewards that his apprenticeship has delivered, Ben believes that more young people should consider this route to a career within the financial services industry.

“I think there is a stigma against apprenticeships within the financial sector. I feel that in order to be successful in the financial sector, people feel as though they need a degree but this is not always the case. For me, beginning my career as an apprentice has been a great advantage. It has allowed me to get started in the career I want, to study for and pass the necessary exams from an early age and gather a great understanding of the industry from the ground up, all before the age of 20.”

Author: Editorial Team

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