Joel Carter ACSI was accepted for a place on a two-year Rathbones apprenticeship scheme when he was just 17-years-old. He successfully navigated this and now, at the age of 20, is a client service executive with responsibility for assisting the financial planners and financial planning assistants in their day-to-day servicing of all Liverpool financial planning clients.
His enthusiasm for financial services and hard work has not gone unnoticed. He has so far completed two academic qualifications from the CISI – Investment Operations Certificate and Fundamentals of Financial Services – and he is currently studying towards a diploma in regulated financial planning. He was also recognised at the CISI Liverpool, Chester & North Wales branch annual dinner 2017
, where he received the first ever President’s award for the Most Active Young Branch Member. “That was a massive accomplishment for me to be recognised by the CISI and presented with the award by the [then] president of Liverpool, Chester & North Wales branch, James Charlton, Chartered FCSI. It was especially rewarding that it was at such an incredible event with so many experienced members of the CISI,” he says.
With so much experience already behind him, the future looks bright for Joel and he is a fantastic example and enthusiastic advocate of how valuable apprenticeships can be to employers and future employees.
The apprenticeship route
Joel’s apprenticeship allowed him to gain experience in back-office functions of the business. “The back-office functions took me through the client journey, from opening their initial accounts to then transferring assets into the new portfolios. I was then part of the financial planning team for six months. For my final two placements, I worked with the customer relationship management (CRM) developers and the wider business support team, which looked at a variety of work across the business.
“Each placement helped develop my knowledge, along with some key skills in each area of the business, such as communication, time management and attention to detail.”
Joel says: “I would definitely recommend the Rathbones apprenticeship scheme. The knowledge of every stage of the client journey and knowing how to use the individual systems in each arm of the business have been vital for me in adding value to my current team at Rathbones right away.”
Changes in the apprenticeship world
In April 2017, a UK-wide apprenticeship levy came into force, requiring all public and private sector employers with an annual pay bill of £3m or more to invest in apprenticeship training. Also, in May 2017, the apprenticeship levy changed the way businesses interact with such schemes, and one key aspect of these changes was the introduction of the apprenticeship service. This is an online service to allow employers to choose and pay for apprenticeship training more easily by receiving levy funds to spend on apprenticeships, manage their apprentices and pay their training providers. Joel believes this levy has been a positive change to get more businesses engaged.
“Apprenticeships are becoming more attractive for both employers and apprentices and the levy helps provide incentives for businesses to get involved. The costs of having an apprentice are also extremely low compared to a graduate. This also allows you to train them from the start and embed the firm’s culture throughout the early years of their career.”
Apprenticeships offer a way for financial services firms to “inherit keen, young, talented individuals” and to “develop them in a way specific to the culture of a firm”, Joel adds. He lists some businesses that are starting to invest more in the schemes, such as Rathbones, Investec, Quilter Cheviot and EY.
He does, however, point out that there is a downside to apprenticeships. “For employers, there is no guarantee that an apprentice can be retained after they finish their contract. However, I believe this is almost true with any member of staff.” he says.
Joel’s role at Rathbones is helping develop his knowledge in a client-facing role, but this experience began with his apprenticeship. “Throughout my two-year apprenticeship, many discretionary fund managers were proactive in helping me learn the Rathbones culture for dealing with retail clients – which is based on putting their clients first, along with maintaining the highest of professional and corporate standards,” Joel says.
His favourite part of his job is the client gratification. “When we have conducted a full recommendation report and I hear how pleased they are when their financial matters are in order and looked after, that’s a great feeling. We put in place measures that reduce their worries, such as protection and new pension arrangements. That’s why we work the long hours we do; so our clients are provided with the best possible service.”
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