The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA), working alongside employers in a Trailblazer group, has launched its Motor Finance Specialist apprenticeship to offer employment and training opportunities to those entering one of the UK’s fastest growing sectors.

A new section on the FLA’s website provides all the necessary information that firms will need to get their apprenticeship programmes underway – including contact details for three well-established training providers who have already signed up to help employers develop tailor-made courses, along with advice on how to hire apprentices.

The launch of the apprenticeship is the culmination of 18 months of discussions between FLA members, brokers, dealerships and professional bodies, to devise a training programme that matches the specific skills and knowledge required in a market where 88% of private new car purchases are made using motor finance.

The one-to-two-year, Level 3 apprenticeship uses a core curriculum which then branches into options to suit either finance specialists, working for a lender, or retail specialists, who liaise directly with car buyers in the dealerships. The independent assessment process examines a number of areas, including knowledge of the finance products, regulatory compliance and customer service.

Commenting, Adrian Dally, Head of Motor Finance at the FLA, said “The Apprenticeship Standard will help to attract new talent who want to build their careers in motor finance. This kind of commitment to the industry is good for competition, customer service and the responsible provision of credit that is central to this market. FLA members have a history of investing in training for dealership staff, including development of the Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) programme that has been running since 2007. We added the more demanding SAF Advanced qualification in 2016, and are now introducing modules to the original SAF programme to ensure there is a SAF training option for every career stage.”

Sue Husband, director, National Apprenticeship Service said “Through apprenticeships, we’re making it easier for employers to attract a diverse range of apprentices, helping them to acquire top talent and tackle skills shortages associated with an ageing workforce by training and upskilling. The Motor Finance Specialist Apprenticeship offers the opportunity to specialise in a key growth area of the automotive industry, with learning outcomes spanning the sale of motor finance products, financial regulation and compliance and customer service. With recent reforms to apprenticeships firmly focused on improving quality in the system and giving employers the skills they need, there has never been a better time to take on an apprentice.”