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Unividual’s academy still hiring during Coronavirus crisis

Unividual is launching its financial adviser and paraplanner training programme for 2020 and taking on new recruits for the fifth year in a row, despite the challenges of Covid-19.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated businesses across the world with thousands of people losing their jobs as a result. However, a light lies at the end of a tunnel for people looking for a career in finance. Despite the recession and effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, the long-established financial advice firm, Unividual, is continuing with plans to recruit for its growing in-house chartered financial planner training programme, Unicademy. Within a day of advertising they had received over 200 applications from those aspiring to work in finance.

There are two Unicademy spaces available in Bath and London but the firm have also decided to recruit for a placement student. Cherie-Anne Baxter heads up recruitment for Unividual and talks about the decision to hire: “COVID has made it challenging for all businesses. We couldn’t furlough staff as we needed to ensure we could still be there for clients so they could continue to manage their finances during coronavirus. We have had to pay constant attention to cash-flow but our staff and financial advisers have worked hard over the last few months to bring business levels up to where they need to be. We are also very grateful to our clients who have not just remained loyal to us but have also given our business referrals throughout. This has meant Unividual has maintained its business levels compared to previous years. For us to be in a position where we can still recruit is testimony to the culture of our committed and hardworking staff and the structure of how the business is run.”

Unividual officially launched its in-house financial adviser and paraplanner training school, Unicademy, in 2015. The three year program trains people up to Chartered Financial Planner level whilst they work as a paraplanner. After which they choose between two career paths: a technical specialist or financial adviser. Last year the program had over 1,000 applications, of which four students were enrolled and employed by Unividual. There are currently seven people on the training program and Unicademy has produced five successful graduates who are all still with the business, four who are now financial advisers and one who is a manager of a paraplanning team.

Unicademy was co-created by recruitment and marketing specialist Cherie-Anne Baxter and Lewis Baxter (both pictured), director, chartered financial planner and brother to Cherie-Anne. Mr. Baxter said: “We are growing the family firm to continue providing clients with financial advice for generations to come. Unicademy was also born to combat the threat of retiring advisers on the horizon and low numbers of women and minority groups joining the industry. We can’t stop progressing towards that journey now. We have to keep the momentum going because we have people on Unicademy graduating next year. Not recruiting could stunt their development or alternatively leave us short in the paraplanning department if they become advisers.”

Unividual is currently recruiting for the September 2020 intake. Cherie-Anne confirmed the kind of candidate they look for:  “Lewis and I have worked hard to build Unividual’s culture. We recruit people that fit the type of values we have in our business, everyone is carefully selected by one key philosophy: Is Unividual the right environment for the candidate to achieve their goals and become the best version of themselves. If they can’t they will leave. Our staff have coined a word-Lifer, they call themselves this when they know they are going to spend the rest of their finance careers at our business. Whilst it is important someone has the ability to pass the exams and is able to do the role, what is more important is someone with the right attitude, who will always do the right thing,  who genuinely wants to work in finance and has the get up and go to make it a success.”

The Unicademy training programme combines formal qualifications with the Chartered Insurance Institute, mentoring, mental well-being workshops, personal development and on-the-job training. Unividual’s vision for Unicademy is to develop industry leading experts who are not just technically gifted but also have the right values and personable skills essential to helping people manage their money for years to come.

For more information visit us at www.unicademy.co.uk

Article Date: 21st August 2020

Author and Editor: Cherie-Anne Baxter

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