MONEYQUEST THROWS LIFELINE TO GRADUATES STRIVING TO SECURE EMPLOYMENT AMID COVID-19 CRISIS

By Ellen Mathews
In Media

National mortgage broker MoneyQuest has this week launched an enterprise-wide graduate program that provides tertiary graduates with an opportunity to fast track their mortgage broking careers. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically affected the Australian labour market, including graduate employment rates. MoneyQuest’s Mortgage Broking Graduate Program provides those who have recently completed an undergraduate course at a recognised educational institution, with an accelerated pathway into the mortgage broking workforce.

The innovative program offers industry-specific training, on-the-job experience, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, and mentorship. Successful applicants will be employed by MoneyQuest franchise owners, who together with their support staff will provide structured training on various aspects of their business and day-to-day tasks. The program will help to develop graduates’ core competencies and benefit the wider MoneyQuest network in terms of the new ideas and fresh energy that graduates are bound to bring.

Last week, finance specialists Scott Seng and Matthew Chik of MoneyQuest Balwyn became the group’s first franchise owners to participate in the program, when they welcomed University of Melbourne graduate Henry Nguyen to their business.

  • Matthew Chik and Scott Seng, franchise owners of MoneyQuest Balwyn
    Matthew Chik and Scott Seng,
    franchise owners of MoneyQuest Balwyn

  • Henry Nguyen,
    MoneyQuest Balwyn’s graduate recruit

“We are very excited about bringing Henry on board. He has the right attitude and a thirst for knowledge which is very important to us,” Mr. Seng shared.

“We were specifically looking for someone with little to no industry experience or existing habits, that we could train from scratch and shape into the finance specialist our business needs. We were keen to hire someone with drive and a willingness to commit time and energy to the business, and Henry ticks all those boxes.”

Mr. Seng believes employing graduates has many benefits.

“At my previous workplace, I saw firsthand just how hard the grads worked. Their work ethic is incredible, as is their ability to apply their knowledge to real life scenarios. Matt and I are excited to teach Henry the ins and outs of our business and pass on some essential life skills as well. We look forward to watching him flourish.”

The two-year immersive program seeks to shape graduates into knowledgeable, competent and connected mortgage brokers. A few key elements of the program include:

  • Rotation system: Graduates will rotate between roles within the franchise, and also at MoneyQuest head office to gain insight into the inner workings of the franchisor.
  • Mentoring: Each graduate will be assigned an industry mentor who will play an integral role in their professional development.
  • Buddy: Graduates will be paired with a buddy from MoneyQuest head office, who they can liaise with on a confidential basis.
  • Study Leave: Graduates will be granted paid study leave to complete a Certificate IV in Finance & Mortgage Broking, and a Diploma of Finance & Mortgage Broking Management.

The program also includes a 12-month probationary period, and at the conclusion of the program graduates will be deemed Level 5 employees under the Banking, Finance and Insurance Award 2020.MoneyQuest Managing Director Michael Russell is delighted that the business now has a structured professional development process in place to help graduates kick-start their careers, especially given the challenges of the past 18 months. He believes that the program will provide a wealth of benefits to both graduates and franchise owners.

“With many companies currently taking on less graduates as a result of COVID-19, it is heartening to know that we are now able to provide bright young graduates with a clear pathway into our industry. Our program not only provides graduates with an opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s best brokers, but it also facilitates the recruitment and retention of quality people within our franchise network,” Mr. Russell said.

Dr Deborah Ralston, who is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University, a Member of the Fund Board of Guardians, and a Member of the Reserve Bank of Australia Payments System Board, has confidence in the program’s capacity to produce accomplished and well-rounded mortgage brokers.

“One of the most important financial decisions for a consumer is the purchase of their home. It is complicated however – there are many providers, many types of loans, issues of affordability and insurance. The role of the mortgage broker is to guide consumers through this process and ensure they get the best deal for themselves and their family. This program from MoneyQuest ensures that the new generation of young professional mortgage brokers has not only the right education, but also a high standard of professional mentoring and on the job training to excel in this role,” Dr Ralston explained.

In a discussion paper published in August by the Monash Centre for Youth Policy and Education Practice, titled ‘Life, Disrupted: Young People, Education and Employment Before and After COVID-19’, the authors highlight that there are less full-time permanent jobs available for the increasing number of highly qualified job seekers, and that graduates have also reported experiencing labour market mismatches despite their qualifications, including skill underutilisation, poor job quality and limited choices.

The paper also notes that the proportion of those with undergraduate qualifications working full-time after graduating “fell from 72.2 per cent (2019) to 68.7 per cent (2020),” indicating that securing full-time employment in Australia is proving challenging for new graduates in the latest economic downturn triggered by the pandemic.

It is hoped that MoneyQuest’s Mortgage Broking Graduate Program will help to increase the number of gainfully employed Australian graduates.

For more information on the program, or to apply, contact MoneyQuest’s Graduate Program Co-ordinator, Julie Ryburn, at julie.ryburn@moneyquest.com.au.

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