UK finance industry faces urgent skills crisis

UK finance industry faces urgent skills crisis

Urgent action is needed to tackle a skills and talent crisis in UK financial services, according to an independent review commissioned by HM Revenue which warns the industry is in for a bumpy ride in the face of the technological revolution and Brexit.

The review, carried out by the Financial Services Taskforce, warns that the UK FS sector will lose the war for talent with rival global centres and sectors if it does not take collective action now to address the skills crisis.

Yesterday, a survey found that New York has extended its lead over London as the top financial sector, while ambitious graduates are increasingly looking at industries such as technology.

Meanwhile, the nature of FS sector jobs is changing as automation replaces many of the tasks traditionally carried out by workers.

The report says that reliance on higher skilled talent will increase and there will be significant growth in technical and digital roles linked to a host of new technologies such as blockchain, cloud-based platforms and AI.

The need to attract and retain the skilled talent needed for this era will be impacted by Brexit because 17% of London's financial services sector workforce is from the EU.

To help tackle the challenge, the report recommends the creation of an employer-funded Financial Services Skills Commission that can identify the skills needed in the industry and boost training in these areas.

Mark Hoban, chair, Financial Services Skills Taskforce, says: "There is no doubt that the financial services sector is facing an existential skills crisis. While there are many examples of good practice, the industry lacks the overarching vision, coordination and focus needed to weather the megatrends transforming global business.

"Only through coordinated and collective action by industry, the education sector and government can we bring about the necessary system-wide changes needed for UK financial services to stay competitive in a transformed digital marketplace. For this, we need a unified skills framework to reskill our people and attract and retain new talent at scale and cost effectively."

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Comments: (1)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 29 January, 2020, 16:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I would argue that the Financial Services sector in the UK has been consuming too high a proportion of top talent. I graduated from Cambridge in 1993 and a very large proportion of the quantitative types from my year group went into banking and the FS side of management consultancy (as I did). It's hard to argue that this talent has been put to the best use given what happened during the crisis and the state we now find European banks in today. If more talent now moves into other sectors (healthcare, education, engineering, etc) that have been starved of top talent then that can't be a bad thing