Wealth management giant St James’s Place (SJP) has partnered with the Kaleidoscope Group UK, which supports people with disabilities into business and employment, to create an incubator programme to help those overcoming a range of health challenges to train as financial advisers.
The aim is to bring up to 10 trainee advisers on board during the first nine months of 2023, with training through the SJP Academy to allow people with disabilities to access and create career opportunities within the financial advice profession.
The programme will work on making the recruitment process for the SJP academy more accessible to people with all types of disabilities. Kaleidoscope will support SJP in areas such as accessibility assessments for would-be recruits, disability awareness training within SJP and improving website accessibility.
Both organisations will create a process drawing on outreach to internal and external networks to help widen opportunities to potential recruits to the SJP Academy, and beyond to a career as a financial adviser.
‘Academy for all’
Andy Payne, head of the SJP Academy, said: “A key goal of our SJP Academy is to be an ‘academy for all’, and our new partnership with Kaleidoscope offers a fantastic opportunity to people who, in the past, have been both disadvantaged and faced challenges in joining the advice profession. We are committed to providing a welcoming home for talented advisers, regardless of their background or circumstance, and whatever restrictions or challenges they may face.
“With the academy no longer limited by geographical location, and now enabling our new advisers to shape their own way of learning, we have created a far more accessible and inclusive environment for recruits. And this ultimately will lead to better outcomes for our clients.
“The diversification of the advice profession not only widens opportunities for advisers, but it provides broad representation for the communities we serve and live in, and a more accurate reflection of our 21st century society, at a time when providing high quality advice is more important than ever.”
Hardeep Rai, co-founder and chief executive of the Kaleidoscope Group, added: “There are over 14.6 million people in the UK that are living with some form of disability with over 8 million in employment. Many do not get the opportunities they genuinely deserve due to unfair judgement. This is despite their capabilities, hidden talents, and willingness to work.
“I am very encouraged by our partnership with SJP and welcome their innovative approach. It will allow us to work together to help to transform the lives of many more people with disabilities by creating real opportunities for them to excel within the SJP Partnership.”