What are my job op­tions in the fi­nan­cial sec­tor?

The Irish Times - - Education -

An IFS ap­pren­tice­ship can also be taken up at a spe­cial­ist level. Grad­u­ates with a 2.2 hon­ours de­gree at level 8 in any dis­ci­pline can ap­ply to work to­wards a higher diploma in fi­nan­cial ser­vices analytics

Ques­tion: My son se­cured work ex­pe­ri­ence through a fam­ily friend in AIB in the IFSC last year. He re­ally en­joyed it and is tak­ing busi­ness in his Leav­ing Cert in June. Are there em­ploy­ment/ap­pren­tice­ship op­por­tu­ni­ties in the bank­ing/fi­nance in­dus­tries for those who don’t go on to third-level?

An­swer: With a re­cov­er­ing econ­omy, many fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions are again re­cruit­ing for en­try-level po­si­tions which are open to grad­u­ates, but also to school-leavers and those who may have taken fur­ther ed­u­ca­tion cour­ses in busi­ness.

If your son is in­ter­ested in seek­ing em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor fol­low­ing his Leav­ing Cert, he should now write to the branch man­agers of his lo­cal banks, en­quir­ing about their cur­rent re­cruit­ment pro­grammes rel­e­vant to school-leavers.

Ap­pren­tice­ships

Re­gard­ing ap­pren­tice­ships, Septem­ber 2017 saw the launch of a new In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices (IFS) ap­pren­tice­ship (www.if­s­ap­pren­tice­ships.ie).

It as been de­vel­oped by the in­dus­try group Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Ire­land in con­junc­tion with Na­tional Col­lege of Ire­land (NCI).

Your son could ap­ply to be­come an IFS as­so­ciate ap­pren­tice, which would give him an op­por­tu­nity to earn while he learns.

This ap­pren­tice­ship weaves on-the-job and off-the-job mod­ules, cap­tur­ing progress through a mix of con­tin­u­ous as­sess­ment, ex­ams and an on­go­ing elec­tronic port­fo­lio of work-based ev­i­dence.

Suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants for this pro­gramme re­ceive a two-year fixed term con­tract with a fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany at an an­nual salary of ¤23,000.

They end up with a higher cer­tifi­cate in In­ter­na­tional Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices (level 6) and, that most highly sought-af­ter prize, rel­e­vant work ex­pe­ri­ence.

Many of the very same IFSC-based com­pa­nies, such as Fen­ergo, Al­lianz, State Street, Citi and Aon, that are re­cruit­ing level 8 hon­ours de­gree busi­ness grad­u­ates, and those with masters in busi­ness de­grees, are of­fer­ing school-leavers IFS ap­pren­tice­ships.

Min­i­mum en­try re­quire­ments for the IFS as­so­ciate ap­pren­tice­ship are a grade H7/O6 or above in five Leav­ing Cert sub­jects.

A min­i­mum grade O6 must be ob­tained in English. A min­i­mum of grade O6 or a B2 or above in foun­da­tion level must be ob­tained in maths.

As­so­ciate ap­pren­tice­ship course

Hold­ers of a cer­tifi­cate in busi­ness (QQI level five) or an ad­vanced cer­tifi­cate in busi­ness (QQI level six) or equiv­a­lent can also ap­ply for en­try onto the IFS as­so­ciate ap­pren­tice­ship course.

An IFS ap­pren­tice­ship can also be taken up at a spe­cial­ist level. Grad­u­ates with a 2.2 hon­ours de­gree at level 8 in any dis­ci­pline can ap­ply to work to­wards a higher diploma in fi­nan­cial ser­vices analytics. Suc­cess­ful ap­pli­cants earn ¤32,000 a year on a two-year fixed term con­tract with a fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany.

The mix of on-the-job and aca­demic ex­pe­ri­ence will in­flu­ence what they choose to do upon com­ple­tion.

There are also op­por­tu­ni­ties to con­tinue as an ap­pren­tice, pro­gress­ing onto level 7, 8 or 9.

They may find they en­joy the aca­demic side more than they had an­tic­i­pated and wish to delve deeper into un­der­stand­ing the the­ory be­hind the prac­tices.

This is where the QQI qual­i­fi­ca­tion pro­vided by NCI comes in, as it al­lows learn­ers to then move into full-time fur­ther or higher ed­u­ca­tion, pur­su­ing a range of busi­ness and fi­nance qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Your ques­tions an­swered by ed­u­ca­tion an­a­lyst Brian Mooney. Email queries to askbrian@irish­times.com Ask Brian

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