The leaders of the FinTech and Further Education sectors met in a panel event on Thursday to examine how both industries can work collaboratively to provide the skills and talent needed to boost the Northern Ireland Economy.
The event, held at North West Regional College, saw insightful discussion on the important role of the Further Education colleges in training and developing skilled talent for the FinTech sector, and how FinTech companies can work more closely with the Colleges to maximise the opportunities that exist in this growing sector.
‘FinTech and Further Education: Creating Skills for the new Economy’ panellists included Northern Ireland FinTech Envoy, Andrew Jenkins, Vice President and Managing Director of Allstate NI John Healy, Belfast Metropolitan College’s Director of Curriculum, Damian Duffy and former North West Regional College Student and current FinTru Associate, Tracey Gillen.
The Further Education colleges across Northern Ireland offer a range of courses for learners seeking a career in the Financial Technology services including Foundation Degrees in Business, Higher Level Apprenticeships in Accounting and the Assured Skills academies with businesses including FinTru, Deloitte and Alchemy.
The event follows the publication of a dedicated three-year strategy for the FinTech sector in Northern Ireland, which found it to be worth an estimated £392 million to the local economy. Expected to attract an additional £25 million in Foreign Direct Investment by 2024, the strategy identifies skills and talent as a key workstream to safeguarding the future of the industry.
Northern Ireland FinTech Envoy and Chair of the FinTech NI Association Andrew Jenkins said: “As the world of work changes dramatically and we continue to battle the brain drain of talented professionals from Northern Ireland, now is the time to promote the opportunities on offer here on our very doorstep. Following the launch of our three-year FinTech Strategy and roadmap, we know that the sector has the potential to bring in over £25 million in Foreign Direct Investment by 2024. With ambitions to reach 100 local FinTech firms in this period also, it is essential that we turn our attention to the future innovators, who we will soon be reliant upon to fill a growing list of vacancies.”
“With this in mind, we are working to demystify what the FinTech sector is and communicate the opportunities and earning potential that exist. Uniting with the Further Education sector to promote the opportunities available in FinTech is a vital avenue of this work and a useful step forward in our efforts to address the skills imbalance and safeguard the pipeline of future talent our sector relies upon.”
Chief Executive and Principal of North West Regional College, Leo Murphy said: “For the past decade, we have been working with excellent businesses including Allstate, FinTru, Alchemy and Deloitte to ensure that we are producing skilled, experienced talent for the FinTech sector who are work ready and prepared to fulfil the role required. We are thrilled to join our FinTech colleagues to further boost our collaborative working and showcase how this partnership is elevating and boosting the skilled workforce and in turn, the wider economy.
“The FinTech sector has soared across Northern Ireland in the past years, with countless lists now recognising us as one of the world’s most attractive destinations for FinTech. This ringing endorsement for the sector, including the companies that operate here in the North West, is a testament to the hundreds of students who have worked incredibly hard to be part of this expanding industry. We are excited to see the new peaks both our sectors will reach together as we look to the economic bounce back following the pandemic.”