FASEA’s newly-released degree requirement pathway is a positive step towards professionalism, but care must be taken not to dissuade potential new entrants, according to recruitment professionals.
Speaking to ifa, Grad Mentor founder Alisdair Barr said the implementation of the degree requirement pathway outlined yesterday by FASEA was “fundamentally the right thing” to do, but cautioned it may negatively impact the inflows of new entrants to the industry.
“It’s great to put these minimum standards out, it’s great to put the core competencies out – that’s excellent and should be done and there are no arguments there from me,” he said.
“But what do we do to make sure the industry has enough new entrants excited about going and studying and coming into the profession to sustain its future?”
Mr Barr noted that the demand for advice in Australia is growing, and the pool of existing advisers is shrinking due to natural attrition, increased regulatory requirements, and new technologies forcing some out of the industry.
“I’m worried that we don’t have enough people coming through the pipeline in whatever is going to be laid down as a minimum requirement to feed the profession moving forward,” he said.
“Constantly raising the bar and making it more specific to the industry are absolutely good things to do, but drawing a line in the sand and then finding out we don’t have enough people that can meet that standard – that could really put us back a few steps in terms of growth.”
Mr Barr’s sentiments were echoed by Spark Careers director Adrian Patty, who said the implementation of an effective bridging policy to support those currently studying can meet the required standards without undue stress.
“I think the challenge will be for people that don’t yet know that they want to be an adviser,” he said.
“It’ll be interesting to see what the bridging piece will be, to get someone who’s got a bachelor’s already but maybe doesn’t meet the requirements for specific subjects, so that’s probably going to be the challenge because a lot of people that will be entering the industry are people that won’t be studying a degree that necessarily matches up with that specific content.”
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