Manchester-based investment platform AJ Bell has launched a new apprenticeship scheme to develop the next generation of talent in the company.
The first intake sees nine young people from across the north west begin their training at the company’s new HQ in Salford Quays.
They have enrolled on a two-year bespoke course leading to a professional qualification from the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment.
AJ Bell, which provides online pension, investment and stockbroking services, has teamed up with training provider Kaplan to deliver the apprenticeship programme.
The training will incorporate skills like building customer relationships and communication and technical knowledge of financial products.
The group will spend time in various client services teams, including those focused on investments and new business, and will work towards obtaining the CISI’s Investment Operations Certificate.
Andy Bell, the company’s chief executive, said: “We’re very excited to launch our first apprenticeship programme.
“It underlines our commitment to recruiting highly-motivated young people from the local area. We look forward to helping our first intake to develop successful careers within the business.
“The bespoke training will be delivered by our own experts and other technical specialists, and each apprentice has been assigned a mentor to support them throughout their training.”
AJ Bell has recruited apprentices in the past but never on this scale. One, Lauren Morgan, started 10 years ago at the age of 17 and is now the benefits and pension payroll manager.
AJ Bell is growing rapidly, with profit before tax increasing 27% in the first six months of this financial year. It now looks after £36.3bn of investments for 155,000 customers in the UK through a combination of online pensions, individual savings accounts (ISAs) and dealing accounts.
The company employs 650 people, of whom more than 500 are based at its 93,000sq ft headquarters at Exchange Quay, which opened earlier this year.