Scotland’s first Fintech Skills Academy launches in Fife

A consortium of international Fintech companies together with Fife Council, Fife College and Fintech Scotland, have joined forces to launch Scotland’s first ‘Fintech Skills Academy’. 

The consortium officially launched the Fintech Skills Academy in Kirkcaldy on September 13th.  

The aim of the academy is to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applicants for the growing number of specialist roles in Fintech in the region, and to avoid the potential of a skills gap developing.

The core members of the consortium were joined by members of the public, including current students of the college, along with other local Fintech businesses that have expressed an interest in joining the academy group. 

Speaking at the launch event Jim Tomaney, Chief Operating Officer at Renovite Technologies, one of the consortium companies, said: “As Scotland’s Fintech sector grows so does the demand forpeople 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 pre-emptively plug it.”

“The Fintech Skills Academy programme will help candidates successfully prepare for new roles while atthe 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.”  

Matthew Jones, Solution Architect for Ingenico Group, another of the academy group’s members, added: “Ingenico Group are strong investors in the training and development of our teams, but for start-ups and smaller businesses, allocating resources to bridging the gap between what students learn in the classroom and what they need to know at work is something rarely affordable. Our aim is to help provide that extra bit of experience and training through the Fintech Skills Academy, so when this generation of workers retire, the next generation will be ready.”

Courses to pilot from January 2019

The Fintech Skills Academy syllabus is aimed at both young people about to enter work for the first time, and adults with a background in IT wishing to upskill or retrain specifically for employment in financial technology environments. Courses will be based on practical industry experience but taught in a structured learning framework, having been designed in a collaboration between Fife College and Fintech businesses. 

Krystyna Marettof Fife College who is developing the course curricula said: “We are launching the Fintech Academy with a Retail Card Business Course January 2019 for IT professionals already working in the payments industry. We are excited to be working with Fife Fintech employers to develop training for their sector.”

Subject areas will range from specialisms such as payment processing tosystems testing, device certification and business domain knowledge, amongst others. The courses at the Fintech Skills Academy will be funded by partaking businesses with the potential for further support where applicable. 

Cllr. Altany Craik, Fife Council’s Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “This Fintech Skills Academy will provide an opportunity for Fife residents to access skills and jobs in a dynamic and growing sector within our economy. Building on the success of the Skills Academy model in other key STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) industries, it will help to expand the Fintech Payments skills pool.”

“I am delighted that the Opportunities Fife Partnership is working with Fintech Scotland and industry-leading, Fife-based companies such as Ingenico Group, Renovite Technologies and FIS Global to shape the content of the Fintech Skills Academy and offer opportunities to access their skills and experience.” 

The FinTech Skills Academy launch is the first event in Fintech Scotland’s Fintech Fortnightwhich runs from September 13th– 27th. 

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “Developing people’s skills is 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. It is very poignant that the academy is being launched in Fife which has a deep heritage of innovation in financial services, especially in the category of payments, and I am delighted the initiative is being unveiled at the start of FinTech Fortnight.” 

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