A leading retirement consultancy is developing a new standard for the Actuarial Technical apprenticeship scheme in England, with support from the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries.
Mercer will also work alongside actuarial experts at Aon Hewitt, Barnett Waddington, Grant Thornton, JLT, RSA, PWC and KPMG to help create the new benchmark for students taking part in the employer-led apprenticeship scheme.
Mercer said the new actuarial 'Trailblazer' standard launched during National Apprenticeships Week would help all actuarial employers measure the success of their apprenticeship programme and the performance of their trainees.
Mercer is also developing standards for an Investment Operations apprenticeship and a Trainee Workplace Pensions Administrator/Consultant apprenticeship.
The creation of the apprenticeship standards are part of the Government's apprenticeship reform plans following the Richard Review. The review recommended the creation of employer-led design, delivery and assessment of industry-wide apprenticeships to encourage their usage and increase staff diversity in a number of sectors for those who would traditionally not have chosen it as a career path.
Mercer retirement principal Karen Bennett added: 'This apprenticeship standard will help close the gap between vocational and university education and allow apprentices achieving the standard to be able to compete for jobs with those leaving university.
'Apprentices will be independently assessed at the end of their programme to ensure that they have received a valuable qualification and obtained the knowledge and skills required to lead successful careers in their chosen field. We are pleased to be pioneers.'
The Trailblazer scheme is currently in its second phase of development and the completion date is set for spring 2015, with the first group of apprentices starting the scheme in September 2015.