During the pandemic, UK firms have invested considerable sums in their technology as they cater for employees working from home. Data from the Office for National Statistics suggests this trend is continuing as investment in new technologies is still gaining traction – increasing by more than 7% from Q4 2019 to Q2 2021.*
The rapid growth of all things digital is no surprise throughout the covid crisis but it does provide real potential for a new generation of digitally focused graduates entering into the growing world of fintech.
By April 2020, the pandemic had forced almost 1.6 billion children and students out of their schools and universities worldwide – with the number of active users of Google Classroom doubling to 100 million.** These children will be the first to have experienced such a technology-savvy education – raising the bar and creating a future generation of school leavers and graduates with high-quality digital skills – ideally suited to a career in the fintech industry.
Seopa, parent company of CompareNI.com, has been supporting UK graduates with its Fintech Scholarship programme for higher education students, an initiative that has been specifically designed to help foster greater diversity in the fintech sector across the UK. The bursary, now calling for final applications before entries close on 31st December, will be awarded to one student from each UK region; Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England – receiving £1,000 each which can be used to cover part of the cost of their studies, course materials or any other living expenses.
The aim of the scholarship is to encourage students from outside the world of fintech to explore what the sector could potentially offer them as a career and enter a short blog post on what the next generation see as the future of fintech.
Danielle McWall, Head of Accounting, Finance and Economics at Ulster of University Business School comments: “Northern Ireland’s FinTech sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the Northern Ireland economy, contributing an estimated £392 million annually. The region has an exceptionally high concentration of FinTech employment with the proportion of FinTech roles higher than anywhere else in the UK, generating proportionally 2.5 – 5 times more Gross Value Added than any other region. A primary factor behind Northern Ireland’s success as a world-leading FinTech hub is the availability of world class skills and talent.
“To capitalise on future growth opportunities, targeted support is needed to build a diverse and inclusive talent pool. By offering a dedicated regional scholarship, Seopa Ltd. is helping to encourage and support the development of future talent in the burgeoning FinTech sector. Coupled with Ulster University Business School’s innovative BSc Hons Financial Technology programme, these key initiatives will help to further harness the economic potential of the industry.”
Greg Wilson, CEO of Seopa and Founder of CompareNI.com, comments: “Diversity of talent is key, it builds a more dynamic and innovative team. Personally, I studied Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering and started my career as a Stress Engineer, working on stress analysis of aircraft structures for Bombardier Aerospace before I created Seopa – a company that is now a household name in financial comparison technology. We want this scholarship to give students the chance to explore their options and understand the potential in fintech.
“I suspect, given the investment in classroom technology during the pandemic, that we’ll witness a boom of digitally savvy graduates in the coming years – a very positive development for our rapidly growing company and the fintech industry itself.”
Seopa has been recognised with six Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Awards, and has been awarded a Deloitte Best Managed Company Award each year for the past three years – topped by the Gold Standard Deloitte Award for Best Managed Company in 2020 and 2021 – making it five consecutive wins.
The deadline to apply for the Fintech Scholarship is 31st December 2021, full details of how to apply are available here: Fintech Scholarship .
As a leading fintech employer, Seopa has been investing in recruitment throughout lockdown, with new fintech roles in both Belfast and Timisoara including a Senior Business Development Executive, a CRM Specialist, a Product Owner, Front End Developers and multiple graduate positions. Seopa also has several phases of recruitment planned for 2022 including a UK graduate recruitment process, due to start in February.