Tech talent top priority for finance sector

The UK's financial services sector needs to attract "the widest and deepest pool of talent" to meet the challenges posed by the post-coronavirus world, according to a new report.

The Covid-19 pandemic has rapidly accelerated the digitisation of the workforce, making it more urgent than ever for financial services firms to address their digital skills gaps, according to the newly-established Financial Services Skills Commission.The commission was established under the chairmanship of former City Minister Mark Hoban to ensure the broadest possible talent and skills pipeline for the UK financial services sector.Its initial report suggests that the sector’s move to remote working, assisting customers to access services digitally and the migration of systems into the cloud, has thrown up new reskilling and upskilling challenges, along with new ways of working.Led by CEO Claire Tunley, head of skills policy at the City of London Corporation, the commission has laid out its priorities as:
  • reskilling, upskilling and retraining staff while protecting and expanding employment in key regional and national financial centres
  •  creating a sector-wide future-skills framework linked to an accreditation programme
  • attracting, motivating and retaining the widest and deepest pool of talent
  • strengthening the purpose and culture of the sector to ensure it remains attractive to existing and future talent.
Mr Hoban said: "The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the global megatrends that have been driving change in the financial services sector. Digital transformations which could have taken years to implement have happened in days or weeks."This places even greater stress on the sector’s existing pool of talent and makes it all the more urgent to reskill and upskill people currently working in our businesses. The sector will also need to recruit and retain a much broader pool of talent to drive forward our digital transformation."The most efficient and effective way to achieve our goals is to work together since no one business can solve these challenges alone. The commission will bring together the industry to help drive forward the change we need.”Welcoming the establishment of the commission, Economic Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said: "Coronavirus has shown what a pivotal role the financial services sector plays in supporting individuals, businesses and the wider economy."It has also accelerated the digital transformation as we all work differently. This is both a challenge and an opportunity which the industry needs to address, because it is vital that as we push the limits of tech, the sector has the skills to continue to lead and innovate."I’m confident that the commission will provide an important focal point for this vital work.”

Read more news and views from David Sapsted.

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