The financial and legal services sector is already taking positive steps towards vocational training, developing apprenticeships, and increasing opportunities in the industry. Further development must include even greater awareness of the benefits of apprenticeships to both companies and to young people, together with the provision of additional quality apprenticeship places. Educators can influence young people's career choices by communicating the potential of a quality apprenticeship in providing a path to a satisfying and rewarding career.

In the July 2013 report, A Consultation on Funding Reform for Apprenticeships in England, the government set out its long-term vision for apprenticeships, together with proposals for achieving that vision. The document outlined three options to deliver a reformed system of Apprenticeship funding, and requested input from businesses and training providers to develop the models. A further open Consultation will be concluded in October 2013.

Overall, the recommendations aim to give employers more control over apprenticeships, and ensure all apprenticeships are rigorous and responsive to employers' needs. Within the financial services industry, there has already been a positive reaction to vocational training, with increased numbers of apprenticeships and vacancies.

That demand is reflected in the numbers collated by the National Apprenticeship Service, which shows that apprenticeship participation, overall, has increased steadily in every year since 2007/08. The total volume of apprenticeship starts in 2011/12 was 520,600, which was an increase of 13.9 per cent compared to 2010/11, and up to 20,000 vacancies were available to students receiving their GCSE results this summer.

The Financial & Legal Skills Partnership, whose role is to support employers in the finance, accounting, legal and financial services sector in meeting their skills needs, sees future challenges to businesses in meeting this increased demand.

While public awareness of apprenticeships was formerly in the more 'traditional' trade industries, appreciation of apprenticeships in the financial and legal sectors is now gaining ground. The bigger challenge is to create additional apprenticeships, while still maintaining quality. Employers, training providers and awarding organisations who want to develop a new framework will need to ensure quality remains a constant factor while increasing the number and range of apprenticeships.

More than 7,000 apprenticeships started across the financial services sector in 2011/2012, spanning all disciplines from accounting, payroll, bookkeeping and professional services to providing financial services, financial advice and mortgage advice. As companies look to fuel the next chapter of growth, it is these quality apprenticeships that will attract enthusiastic young people, who can be moulded into a company's culture, and ensure continued development in the financial and legal sectors.

Higher apprenticeships (which can lead to NVQ Level 4 and above, or a Foundation Degree) have shown significant growth, and the Financial & Legal Skills Partnership has helped develop employer-led higher apprenticeship frameworks. These include major programmes offering apprenticeships to Level 4 and Level 7, which can lead to chartered status in Accountancy, Audit, and Tax. Other apprenticeships in England for those aged 16 and over include Intermediate (equivalent to 5 GCSE passes), and Advanced, which is equivalent to 2 A-level passes.

It is critical that sector firms participate in developing effective, higher apprenticeships that will welcome young people in finding ways into the industry other than through the traditional university route.

Apprenticeships are a key factor in communicating new opportunities and rewarding career opportunities in the business sector, while ensuring industry's renewed growth and professionalism. A recent forecast from the Centre for Economics and Business Research estimated that 3.8 million people will complete an Apprenticeship between 2012-13 and 2021-22; it is estimated this would contribute £3.4 billion to the UK economy a year in productivity gains by 2022.

Educators have a critical role in guiding talented young people, from various backgrounds and capabilities, in attaining the best possible vocational training, which can invigorate and strengthen all sectors of UK business.

Liz Field is chief executive of the Financial and Legal Skills Partnership, an employer-led organisation that represents large firm partners on the current skills issues affecting the industry


You may also be interested in these articles:

Sponsored Video

Register, Login or Login with your Social Media account:


Upcoming FE Events

Advertiser Skyscrapers

Newsroom Activity

Sharon Walpole added a new event yesterday

CareermapLive: An Introduction to WorldSkills UK...

During this live webinar, you'll have the opportunity to learn about our skills competition development programme which provides colleges,...

  • Wednesday, 28 April 2021 03:30 PM
  • Online Event, UK

Latest Education News

Further Education News

The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

 RSS IconRSS Feed Selection Page