New programme launched to help staff reskill as two banks prepare to exit Irish market

July 19, 2022

A new programme has been launched today that will upskill bank professionals with in-demand skills at a crucial time for the retail banking sector. The Skills Ignite for Financial Services programme will support individuals to develop in-demand skills to progress in their current employment as well as  improving employability for those leaving jobs, by providing a selection of training courses to ensure Ireland remains competitive, with a skilled workforce that can attract and retain global corporations.  

The programme will also provide support and reskilling for financial services employees who will be impacted in the coming months by redundancies in some retail banks.
With total funding of €1 million, the programme is a joint initiative between Financial Services Ireland, IFS Skillnet, IOB (the Institute of Banking) and the five pillar retail banks - AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, KBC and Ulster Bank - in collaboration with Skillnet Ireland. 

Patricia Callan, Director of Financial Services Ireland (FSI) – the Ibec group that represents the sector – said; “Widening Ireland’s financial services skills base is a key pillar of the recently published Financial Services in Ireland – Skills of the Future report. The Skills Ignite programme will support individuals to identify and validate existing skills and compare them to the market opportunities they see.

“It will also offer a range of microlearning, skills certificates and qualifications to enable individuals to learn about different career options and gain the necessary skills to prepare them for new roles. In particular, the programme supports continuous professional development via events, thought leadership and other professional development activities to ensure individuals’ skills remain current.”

Paul Healy, Skillnet Ireland Chief Executive, added; “The financial services sector is undergoing significant transformation and the introduction of this programme will help banks and their teams to prepare and adapt. By collaborating closely with firms, we are helping the sector to identify the skills of the future, to embrace new technologies and to respond to the ever-evolving needs of customers.”  

Mary O’ Dea, IoB Chief Executive, said; “Skills Ignite enables financial services employees to assess their skillset, identify career and learning opportunities and, crucially, to gain new skills to meet the future and ever-changing needs of the broader financial sector.  The skills required to thrive in financial services are changing. Significant stakeholder engagement has been used to identify the in-demand skills and provide targeted learning to support professionals in upskilling quickly and effectively.”  

For more information on the Skills Ignite programme, please visit their dedicated website.