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National Careers Week – Supporting people’s career journey within financial services

It’s National Careers Week! The annual event designed to shine a light on the importance of career guidance, as well as support for young people as they begin to plan their future career path. 

Initiatives like this are hugely valuable. The transition from school, college, or university into the world of work can be daunting, filling young people’s minds with many difficult questions…

What industry do I want to work in? What job role suits my interests? What skills will I need to excel? What should I be looking for in an employer? 

At My Pension Expert, our services might be geared towards those who are plotting their route out of work; but we are extremely passionate about supporting those just finding their professional feet.

That is why we launched My Academy last year. And now is an opportune moment to explain more about this scheme and the benefits it presents to those considering their career options.

What is My Academy?

My Academy is our ‘talent pathway initiative’. Put another way, it is a programme that clearly outlines our formal commitment – and policies – surrounding education and development within the company. 

Working in partnership with Doncaster College, the My Academy programme includes new career opportunities – from work experience, internships, and apprenticeships through to entry-level positions – to help young people carve out a career in the financial services industry.

Ultimately, we want to break down the barriers that prevent people from working in financial services. By doing so, we are working to create a more diverse and inclusive industry. After all, as a recent discussion paper from the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority stated plainly, where diversity and inclusion are concerned, “it is clear that we still have a very long way to go”.

Sector diversity 

Steps have been taken to make financial services more inclusive in recent years. But significant issues with diversity and equal opportunities remain. We believe that we can work to overcome some of these issues locally by providing access to apprenticeships and professional qualifications in a mix of specialisms. 

By providing paid work experience, placements, internships, and mentoring opportunities, we aim to provide those who may not have been able to take on unpaid placements access to the necessary experience to enter a professional role. We also hope to inspire diversity and inclusion within the financial services sector.

Ongoing development and support

Creating pathways for people to get their first role within the financial services sector is just one part of the My Academy initiative, though. It was also launched to ensure the best possible professional development and support for My Pension Expert employees.

Again, supporting diversity and inclusivity is key. 

In late 2022, the UK’s financial services sector was told by a governing body that it needs to do more to “break the ‘class’ ceiling”. Indeed, around half of all UK financial services employees are currently from ‘non-professional backgrounds’. Yet, data suggests they progress 25% slower than their peers, with only 36% managing to climb the ladder to senior levels. 

Similarly, a PWC report has found that the gender pay gap in the financial services sector stands at around 26%, well above the average across all sectors. The fact women are less likely than men to progress to senior roles contributes significantly to this pay gap.

My Academy reaffirms our commitment to tackling these issues. We provide training and mentoring for all our staff to ensure they have the knowledge and skills to fulfil their responsibilities, as well as the confidence to explore new and innovative solutions to challenges within their job roles. 

We believe motivation and job satisfaction can be improved by providing learning and development pathways, which is why all our managers have been promoted from other positions within the company, and all of our staff have personalised opportunities to access courses that are fully funded by MPE.

If you want to learn more about My Academy, or to hear about any potential job openings we have within the company, please do not hesitate to get in touch.