Financial Services Ireland, the Ibec group that represents the sector, today launched two new International Financial Services Apprenticeships, aimed at both entry level employees looking for a great career choice, as well as experienced professionals wishing to pursue a career change or a more technical role within the financial services sector.
Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton, was present to formally launch the apprenticeships this morning in National College of Ireland. The apprenticeships have been designed and developed by FSI and their member companies in conjunction with National College of Ireland and underline the growing strength behind Ireland’s business model.
There are two IFS Apprenticeships:
- · IFS Associate which is aimed at entry level apprentices and embeds a Higher Certificate in International Financial Services at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications
· IFS Specialist which is aimed at career changers and returns and embeds a Higher Diploma in Financial Services Analytics at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications
Companies such as State Street, Citi, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank, Aon, Fenergo, Fidelity International and Allianz Ireland have embraced these new apprenticeships as an alternative recruitment and retention pipeline for talent for their organisations. More companies are due to take on further IFS apprentices in 2018 in IFS locations in Dublin, Cork and Limerick.
Speaking at the launch, Minister Bruton said: “I’m delighted to be here today to launch two new Apprenticeships in the area of International Financial Services and I congratulate all involved- the National College of Ireland, Financial Services Ireland and all employers who are partaking. Both apprenticeships offer fantastic opportunities for participants in the sector, to ‘earn while they learn’ and receive an excellent education while also gaining relevant work experience. I have set out the ambition to make Ireland’s Education and Training Service the best in Europe within a decade. Growing the number of people choosing apprenticeships and expanding the number of programs available to them is key to achieving this ambition. Indeed, we launched a plan earlier this year to increase registrations to 50,000 by 2020. Today’s announcement directly contributes to the realisation of this ambition.”
Marc Coleman, Director of Financial Services Ireland highlighted the importance of the IFS apprenticeships to the sector: “FSI is delighted to sponsor this ground breaking, enterprise led initiative, which will bring targeted skills quickly into a rapidly growing sector. The ability of apprenticeships to grow and benefit the industry is limited only by the extent of industry take up. I strongly urge all firms in the sector to grab, with both hands this unrivalled opportunity to improve the speed, quality and cost effectiveness of recruitment.”
Bernadette Sexton, Head of HR at State Street, spoke of the value of the IFS apprenticeships to companies such as State Street: “The IFS programme benefits the financial services industry as a whole. At State Street, developing our talent is key and this programme gives opportunities to people to get real-life experience in financial services in areas like data analytics, risk, compliance and fintech. The IFS apprenticeship are an opportunity for candidates and companies alike, candidates get the best of both worlds – a sought after industry skillset and a desirable educational qualification, while companies like State Street secure skilled labour to add to our growing talent pool.”
Gerard McLoughlin, an International Financial Services Specialist apprentice starting with Fenergo said: “This is a great opportunity for me to enhance my skills with on-the-job experience of current, relevant practices and off-the-job training for nationally recognised qualification, providing me with an employment pathway into the growing financial sector."
Gina Quin, President of National College of Ireland wished all of the IFS apprentices well and ensured them of a very positive and supportive learning experience.