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Former Westhill Academy pupil joins Acumen Financial Planning to become youngest person in Scotland to receive Diploma in Financial Planning exams

By Kirsty Brown

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A one-week work placement has led to a promising career for Aberdeen trainee Andrew McRae, who has become one of the youngest in Scotland to complete their financial diploma.

Having joined Acumen Financial Planning from school, Andrew has combined working and studying and recently passed his R02 Level 4 in regulated Financial Planning with the Chartered Insurance Institute.

The 21-year old began his career journey whilst at Westhill Academy as part of a one-week school placement work experience.

With the initial plan of going to university, Andrew opted to work and study which has highlighted his talent within the financial planning industry.

What started off as a one-week placement, led to Andrew joining the team as Financial Planning Administrator, and almost three years later, recently being promoted to Trainee Paraplanner.

He is now part of a team of 23 paraplanners across the firm.

During his time at Acumen Andrew has sat eight exams, all of which he has passed the first time.

Andrew McRae
Andrew McRae

Trainee Paraplanner Andrew McRae said: “The chance to work for a highly accredited firm full time whilst also being supported through my training and completing exams was something I felt was too good to refuse and a real alternative to going to University.

"I could tell from my work experience that Acumen was a company that was willing to give young people an opportunity to enter this industry and provide a platform for their employees to achieve success in their careers.

"I am delighted how my choice to join Acumen straight from school has turned out, and I am looking forward to continuing my development with more exams and training in my new role.”

Acumen works closely with local schools and universities to offer routes into the financial planning industry.

The company offers several work placements at school and university level. which result in many progressing into full-time financial planning roles.

The firm have also recently signed up for the Young Persons Guarantee (YPG)

Recruitment and development manager Nicola Doohan said: “We are delighted with the progress that Andrew has achieved, and it highlights the benefit of providing young people with the opportunities as part of a work experience placement.

"We have an established Career Advancement Programme which is available to all our team, at all levels.”

As part of Acumen’s summer recruitment, Acumen is looking for a new trainee to join the team at their head office in Westhill.

The permanent role provides the opportunity to sit financial exams and gain financial qualifications and industry experience.

Acumen will also provide a wide range of training whilst also having a range of employee benefits.

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