In his Spring Budget 2023 speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt announced that the UK Government would deliver 12 new Investment Zones after the success of the regeneration projects in London’s Canary Wharf and the Liverpool Docks.
This is an excerpt from The Future of Fintech in the UK 2023: An Innovate Finance Global Summit and UK Fintech Week special edition' report.
He elucidated that there are certain regions that have the potential to host an Investment Zone and in order to be chosen, “each area must identify a location where they can offer a bold and imaginative partnership between local government and a university
or research institute in a way that catalyses new
“If the application is successful, they will have access to £80 million of support for a range of interventions including skills, infrastructure, tax reliefs and business rates retention.” This investment could make a substantial difference to the fintech
industry and work to remedy the ever-growing skills gap, as well
as a positive follow up to all the recent layoffs in the technology industry.
A report by the Korn Ferry Institute found that by 2030, over 85 million jobs could go unfilled because there aren’t enough skilled people to take them.
The report revealed that “the biggest issue isn’t that robots are taking all the jobs—it’s that there aren’t enough humans to take them. Indeed, the study finds that by 2030, there will be a global human talent shortage of more than 85 million people, or
roughly equivalent to the population of Germany. “Left unchecked, in 2030 that talent shortage could result in about $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues.” This shortage is felt keenly within the fintech sector.
According to Hallsworth: “Bridging the digital skills gap is a major challenge, not only for established companies in financial services, but also for fintech startups looking to grow. Developing a workforce for the future, by nurturing talent and supporting
re-skilling in later life, will be a key underpinning of the UK’s ambitions as a science and technology superpower.”
Nayi had a similar view and referenced the recent budgetary allocations and investment in AI research. He said that “the demand for skilled personnel in the existing and emerging fintech sectors is poised to witness a substantial uptick. Consequently, the
already intensely competitive talent market in the fintech industry is anticipated to further intensify in the foreseeable future.”
Roach Canning also spoke about competition and how “in a specialist, rapidly changing sector like ours is always going to be fierce, but in the future the emphasis is likely to be on bringing a full range of skills and creativity to focus on fintech challenges.
Soft skills like collaboration, problem solving, creativity and the ability to continuously upskill will be particularly important. With recent layoffs across the whole tech sector, there are many more candidates than they were, but great experience and talent
will always be valued.” Child, calling upon the competitive outlook required, stated that the UK is in a positive position. “The UK is amongst a very few countries in the world that can draw from a world-class talent pool in both financial services and technology.
“Without a doubt, the tech talent market will continue to become more and more competitive, but the UK’s financial services heritage will still act as a draw for those developers with an interest in fintech. More needs to be done to facilitate international
talent to move into the UK market but if we can facilitate that, then it remains a very attractive global destination.”
Booth added that “the UK has a unique advantage with its close physical and philosophical connection between the various players in the ecosystem. Particularly in London, you have the banks, the regulator, and fintechs all within walking distance. This proximity
is not as common in other fintechs hubs like the US, where you have banks in New York, regulators in Washington DC, and fintechs in San Francisco. This close-knit community in the UK could foster more collaboration, innovation, and talent retention in the
Mark Lenhard, CEO, Zepz concluded by saying that “the UK has some of the best fintech talent globally, and a concerted effort is being made to prime people for a career in the sector. Specialised fintech courses are now commonplace at universities across the
country from Exeter to Edinburgh, which provide an in-depth view of the sector and equip students with invaluable skills to progress within the industry.
“As a wave of automation sweeps across the sector, we are likely to see jobs of the future grounded in knowledge and technical skill. Fintech is arguably no longer a subsector of the tech industry and is now in fact one of its largest, strongest pillars.
From banking, to policy, to insurance and blockchain, this thriving economy attracts the very best talent which touches every major sector.”