First Financial was established more than 25 years ago. Right from the start, we knew that having a great team of people around us would be the key to providing a brilliant service to our clients. So that’s something we’ve invested in, for two reasons: to help young people get started in the industry, and so our team can keep learning and growing while they’re with us.

We like nothing better than a good, old-fashioned success story, and that’s exactly what we’ve experienced with Tom Perman. He joined our Apprenticeship Scheme back in the summer of 2019, and since then has completely outstripped our expectations. Not only did he pass his CeMAP 1 as part of the scheme, he quickly went on to pass CeMAP 2 and 3 within 12 months, to become a fully qualified client relationship manager.

We’ve been so impressed by how well our Apprenticeship Scheme has worked for Tom, we asked him to tell us about how it has felt for him.


Tom’s apprenticeship journey

Q:         What made you decide on an apprenticeship?

A:         I did a trial week with First Financial and really enjoyed it, so decided to join their scheme. For my career I thought it would be better for me than going to university as I would learn within a nurturing working environment. It also means you can earn while you learn.


Q:         How did it work in practice?

A:         I had a tutor I spoke to fortnightly to check how I was getting on. We’d go through a couple of topics from CeMAP 1 on each call, and once I’d completed them I had a fast track course in London, which was incredibly useful. The scheme meant I had to book time in my diary to go through each topic and it gave me a timescale to work towards. Having this structure made such a difference.


Q:         What has the experience given you?

A:         I’ve loved the environment in the office and the satisfaction of helping clients, knowing that I’m putting 100% effort into everything I do. It has also helped me gain knowledge of the industry. I can honestly say I have learnt something new every day. Also, I’ve gained so much confidence in talking to people.


Q:         Would you recommend the Apprenticeship scheme?

A:         Definitely. I’m so glad I went down this route rather than university. I’m sure I would have loved the ‘uni life’, but I’m now two years ahead of where I would have been and am confident in my role. Financial services was never an industry I thought about going into, but I’m really enjoying it.


Flying high

So that’s incredible for Tom – but the good news story doesn’t end there. He has really shone since joining First Financial. He’s been promoted to Client Relationship Manager and last year scooped our Annual Core Values Champion award. That’s a great enough accolade, but it also meant he will be sent on an all-expenses trip to New York! Now Tom has his sights set on becoming an adviser – something that, judging by his past progress, he’ll achieve within the next few years!

Gavin Pearse, First Financial Director says “This is why the Apprenticeship Scheme is so important to us. We want to find hungry and driven individuals with limited or no experience, so we can train them to become the best they can be. Given Tom’s success, it’s very much a route we want to focus on.”

If you’d like to know more about our Apprenticeship Scheme or are interested in working with us, please get in touch.