Many young people are led to believe that they must go to university if they wish to gain a career in financial services. Working alongside schools at a grassroots level, we have worked hard to provide young people with an alternative pathway into financial services.

Financial planning may not seem the obvious career choice, but it remains a relatively young profession amongst a stable of more traditional options such as accountancy or economics. Together with the professional bodies The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and The Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment (CISI), Acumen Financial Planning is looking to improve awareness and engage with the next generation around the routes available towards a successful career in financial planning.

Acumen Financial Planning forms part of The Financial Planning Group and offers a diverse range of employee training and development as well as an extensive suite of employee benefits and career progression opportunities through their Career Advancement Programme.

Despite the difficulties the last couple of years presented, we welcomed 17 new members of staff across the various offices in Scotland with many of the team progressing into senior roles. This was due to a strong increase in demand and the acquisition of Glasgow-based firm, Loch Fyne Financial Management at the end of 2021. The expansion added a portfolio of Paraplanners, Financial Planners, a Compliance Monitoring Assistant, and a Project Co-Ordinator to the team’s growing presence.

Passionate about supporting roles in the profession and nurturing the next generation of talent, we have worked closely with local schools and universities across Scotland to provide career opportunities at all entry levels. Giving the opportunity to study towards relevant financial exams, dependent on the chosen role whether it be an apprenticeship, graduate programme, or work placement. This can also lead to a permanent position in the future across the teams in our accredited business in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Elgin, or Glasgow, with recent successful placements from Robert Gordon University and Napier University.

The world of finance does not sit still and as part of the ongoing training development, we provide all staff with the opportunity to go on relevant professional courses to gain financial qualifications and further progress their careers in the sector.

Andrew McRae, a former student from Westhill Academy, Aberdeenshire joined Acumen initially as part of a one-week placement and came back to join the team on a permanent basis in the Administration team. in the last three years, Andrew has sat eight exams, and the 21-year-old recently passed his R02 Level 4 in regulated Financial Planning with the Chartered Insurance Institute. Andrew is now a Trainee Paraplanner having been promoted in February this year.

In a recent video we produced as part of the Lift-Off Initiative in 2021, in collaboration with DYW and Aberdeen City Council, Andrew stated that he wasn’t sure that university was the right route for him. However, the idea of working and studying very much appealed to him.

Building on the success and working in collaboration with various local schools, we have created a series of short bite-sized videos to explain the importance of financial skills. As more and more Gen Zers turn to social media to gain financial advice, we created an interactive range of resources to help schools expand students to financial education.

The main aim is to help young people and equip them with the skills they will need in the future, the videos have been carefully developed to cover key areas that youngsters may not be aware of, such as how to understand your first payslip, the importance of your pension, and the role of income tax and national insurance.

At Acumen Financial Planning, we strongly believe in financial education to better equip the younger generation with their financial outcomes later in their lives as well as open the door to career paths in the financial services profession.

Whilst we continue to develop a relationship with schools and universities, we are currently looking out for the next group of talented young people to make their first step towards their career in finance with an opportunity of gaining first-hand experience and building professional and personal skills.

Local schools interested in accessing the educational videos or for more details about recruitment opportunities can contact Nicola Doohan on 01224 392350 or