Pi­o­neer­ing fintech ini­tia­tive aims to pre­vent skills gap

Tech­nol­ogy firms in part­ner­ship with pub­lic sec­tor to en­sure pipe­line of tal­ent

The Scotsman - - Business - By PERRY GOURLEY

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.”

busi­nessdesk@scots­man.com

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