FAAA measures aimed at boosting the number of advisers

The Financial Advice Association Australia (FAAA) is launching several initiatives to attract more people to become financial advisers, with its jobs portal already a success in matching employers with suitably qualified candidates. 

Anne Palmer, FAAA’s general manager of education, said that the FAAA is working hard to attract more people into the profession, following a sharp fall in the number of advisers working in Australia in the past few years.

“At 15,600 registered financial advisers, we now have almost half the number of advisers than we had working in 2019, when there were 28,000 at start of the year. Last year, just 317 new entrants joined the financial advice profession, so Australia now has just one authorised adviser for every 1,695 Australians; that is not nearly enough to meet the rising demand for financial advice from an ageing population,” Ms Palmer said.

“With 750,000 Australians set to retire in the next five years, we expect much greater demand for advice. Three million Australians will become eligible to start drawing upon their superannuation in the next decade, on top of the six million who are already at or above superannuation preservation age, according to figures from ASIC.[1] So many more advisers will be needed to deliver retirement advice alone.

“While good retirement outcomes do not depend on financial advice alone, good advice has a very important role to play in maximising the retirement wealth of Australians. All of this reinforces the need for the industry to attract and train up more financial advisers,” said Ms Palmer.

According to Ms Palmer, the onus is falling on smaller Australian Financial Services Licence firms (AFSLs) to recruit advisers, with the size of AFSLs falling.

“That means that new entrants can no longer rely on big employers to run large graduate intake programs. That has left the obligation on smaller-sized advisory businesses to train up new advisers,” she said.

She adds that the task to bring more people into the profession falls across the life cycle of advice, and the FAAA is raising awareness amongst professional groups, high school students and graduates to support entry routes into the profession while maintaining education standards.

“Initiatives that the FAAA is working on include the Money and Life Financial Literacy Workshops and the FAAA Careers Centre, which is already a significant success. The FAAA portal is for financial advice related roles only and has helped to better match employers with candidates with suitable financial advice qualifications and experience, which means it is working more effectively than a general jobs board.

“Launched just over six months ago, jobs advertisements placed via on the platform have been viewed 22,695 times by unique viewers,” Ms Palmer said.

“While the careers portal features roles at all stages, we also actively promote it to student members and our graduate members seeking employment in advisory firms.  There are information articles written by members of our Emerging Professionals Committee to help new entrants get started in the profession. Members of the FAAA, as well as non-members, can view jobs available on the Careers Centre,” she said.

The FAAA policy team has also worked closely with the Joint Associations Working Group, looking at ways to make the tertiary education requirements more flexible while maintaining the same Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF) level requirements to ensure a minimum curriculum is covered.

The FAAA has, among other recommendations, recommended to Treasury that pre-existing education be included, which would assist those seeking a career change to more easily enter the financial advice profession.

The FAAA is also establishing an ‘Advice Academy’ to promote more professionals to work as financial advisers.

“The FAAA sees the need for a profession-wide Academy to educate high school students about financial advice being a fulfilling and rewarding career and to encourage university students to complete financial planning qualifications,” said Ms Palmer.

“The Advice Academy will also support qualified graduates to find entry level roles in the profession and to assist emerging professionals to find and complete Professional Year placements. Initial feedback from the industry has been good, with employers interested in sponsoring and taking part in the program,” Ms Palmer said.


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