Finance group marks training academy launch with outstanding OFSTED rating

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett at AJ Bell

Salford Mayor Paul Dennett has formally launched a new training academy at financial advice business AJ Bell.

The Salford Quays headquartered business has been training apprentices with Manchester Metropolitan University and has marked the launch of the new AJ Bell Academy with the 100th apprentice to join the Manchester-based investment platform.

Earlier this month AJ Bell received an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted grading for the apprenticeships it delivers to its new Team Leaders and Managers, demonstrating the commitment not only to its new starters but to their ongoing development into leadership.

AJ Bell’s 2023 apprenticeship intake were welcomed into its Manchester office this week by AJ Bell chief executive, Michael Summersgill, and Mayor of Salford, Paul Dennett, as it launched the AJ Bell Academy.

This year’s 34 new digital and investment apprentices mean the AJ Bell Academy has now welcomed more than 100 apprentices, with this year’s intake being the largest to date. 

AJ Bell Academy’s educational partners will be Manchester Metropolitan University and Fitch Learning, who will work with the Digital degree and Investment Operations apprentices respectively.

Summersgill said: “We have had over 100 apprentices from across Greater Manchester take part in the programme since it began, showing how successfully we have developed local talent to support the growth of the business. We are excited to start work with this year’s cohort.”

The AJ Bell Academy’s award-winning programme has cultivated local talent from over 100 young people since it began in 2017. Its 85% ‘Distinction’ rate as well as the 81% of graduates who have gone on to be promoted soon after finishing their apprenticeships highlights the important role played by local companies in securing bright futures for the region’s young people. 

Salford City Mayor Paul Dennett said:  “This is a perfect opportunity to learn and get new skills which can support their future career progression. 

“A big thank you goes to AJ Bell for making these high-quality apprenticeships available – for being a standard-bearer amongst employers and giving young people their first step on the ladder, and also for continuing to invest in them and the wider workforce.”

Liz Gorb, MMU

Liz Gorb, director of apprenticeships at Manchester Metropolitan University, acknowledges how AJ Bell have supported her efforts to push the degree apprenticeship agenda through attendance at high-profile VIP visits and events, including meetings with ministers, roundtables, and open evenings. 

“As a forward-thinking employer, they create outstanding career opportunities for their apprentices, which not only reflects their dedication to the professional growth of their employees but also contributes to our collaborative success,” she said. 

“The launch of the AJ Bell Academy is an exciting initiative which will create an even greater sense of community and belonging for the apprentices and will showcase all AJ Bell has to offer as a top employer. We very much look forward to welcoming a new cohort of AJ Bell Academy apprentices to the University campus over the coming weeks as they start their degree apprenticeship journey.”

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