CII’s Aspire now closed to firms without diversity policy

The Chartered Insurance Institute has announced that its Aspire apprenticeship scheme will only now available to employers who have made a commitment to non-discriminatory hiring practices.

This change was announced in response to the FCA’s Gender Diversity in UK Financial Services report from November 2019, which stated women accounted for just 17% of FCA-approved individuals.

Manuel Thompson-Oloko, early careers manager at the CII, said: “…for the profession to remain ahead of the curve, it must have access to a diverse range of skills and talents. Apprenticeships provide a very effective route to access new opportunities, whilst also providing tangible benefits to any business -- from large corporations to SMEs.”

Keith Richards, engagement director at the Institute, added: “Neither age nor gender should be a barrier to success in the financial services professions.

“It is vital that our profession progresses its commitment to be an inclusive society and additionally reflects the diversity of the clients who benefit from receiving financial advice, which is why we have taken this step to ensure careers are accessible to people from a comprehensive range of backgrounds.”

More than 1,500 apprentices were enrolled in the insurance and personal finance professions in 2020. Since Aspire launched in 2017, more than 500 registered firms have signed up to the programme, which offers structured training to apprentices so that they can achieve the necessary qualifications and skills required to become a fully qualified financial adviser or insurance professional.

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