Pioneering fintech initiative aims to prevent skills gap
Technology firms in partnership with public sector to ensure pipeline of talent
A consortium of international fintech companies have joined forces to launch an initiative aimed at ensuring the burgeoning sector in Scotland has access to the skills it needs to fuel further growth.
Businesses including Renovite Technologies and Ingenico Group have formed a partnership with industry body Fintech Scotland, Fife Council and Fife College to launch Scotland’s first “Fintech Skills Academy”.
The initiative aims to develop courses to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applicants for the growing number of specialist roles in fintech – financial technology – in the region and to avoid the potential of a skills gap developing.
More than 50 fintech companies, from start-ups to listed companies, are now based in Scotland with forecasts for the sector to grow significantly in the years ahead.
Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of Fintech Scotland, said: “Developing people’s skills in an imperative for the future growth of the fintech sector in Scotland and the launch of the Academy is a further indication that the community is turning its aspirations into tangible actions that will create great opportunities.”
Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer at US payments technology firm Renovite Technologies, which has a major site at Dunfermline, said: “As Scotland’s fintech sector grows so does the demand for people with the right skills. To avoid the emergence of a skills gap, as we’ve seen happen in several other STEM industries, we’ve developed an innovative plan to preemptively plug it.
“The Fintech Skills Academy programme will help candidates successfully prepare for new roles while at the same time, help employers by improving candidate’s understanding of the standards fintech employers want. It’s a win-win scenario that we hope will be replicated nationwide.”
Courses to be run at Fife College and funded by the businesses backing the initiative will be aimed at both young people about to enter work for the first time and adults with a background in IT wishing to improve their skills specifically for employment in financial technology.
Subject areas will range from payment processing to systems testing and device certification.
The announcement came ahead of the start next week of Scotland’s first “Fintech Fortnight” which is backed by Fintech Scotland and Visitscotland Business Events to highlight the sector.
More than 20 events will be staged across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stirling, Falkirk and Fife.
Rory Archibald of Visitscotland said it is hoped the events will showcase Scotland as “the place to be for fintech”.
“Scotland is already a significant figure in this sector but through this, and other collaborative efforts, it’s universities, government, businesses and entrepreneurs will come together to secure and grow its future.”