New program tackles broker youth shortage

by Amy Rosenfeld16 Jan 2014
One training provider is tackling the issue of funding for new-to-industry brokers while raising awareness of broking as a viable profession.

Training provider Intellitrain recently rebranded itself as Australis College, and with the rebrand has launched a new pilot program which aims to attract new brokers to the ageing profession.

Australis CEO Paul Eldridge says the college has actively been out in Australian communities running career nights and information booths in local shopping centres to promote broking as a career path.

“That’s something the industry needs to be better at doing, promoting the fact that it exists and that it is a career opportunity.”

The MFAA has previously warned of a “youth shortage” in the broker profession, with figures showing membership under the age of 30 is down to just 6%.

Australis College’s new entrant program is designed to give new brokers their Cert IV qualifications and then place them in work experience with partner organisations including RAMS, Choice and Loan Market.

For the next two years the brokers receive mentoring, CPD training and eventually their Diploma in Finance and Mortgage Broking Management.  

“One of the biggest problems with new entrants is the question of who is going to provide that ongoing mentoring and training. Typically brokers are too busy keeping up with their own business and generating their own income to devote the time and effort needed to support new entrants, so this gives them the ability to be able to say ‘OK I can take on a new entrant now’, all of that stuff is taken care of by Australis.”

A further issue which has often deterred new entrants to the industry is the requirement to fund your own costs for an initial period of six months to one year while receiving little or no income. Being an approved VET FEE-HELP program means Australis’ program can help to mitigate these costs.

“It means they have no education expenses for the first two years, it’s all absorbed by VET FEE-HELP, so it’s been a bit of a  game-changer and has meant we can actually give people some real quality training in their first 2 years and people can defer the payment to pay back through their taxes.”

Four of the initial group of ten students from the pilot program have already been placed in full-time work in the industry, says Eldridge. The group plans to have three intakes for the course throughout the year in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, with around 20 new students per intake per city.