When it comes to developing the talent required to fuel growth, one key factor – whether you are looking at a high performing company, industry or economy – is that it is vital to take a strategic view.
Well before Brexit became an issue the Irish Government put in place IFS2020 which had the overarching goal of creating an additional 10,000 jobs in the International Financial Services (IFS) sector by 2020. One of the key strands of this strategy was (and continues to be) education and skills. While Ireland can boast many favourable statistics on demographics in relation to the size, age profile and educational attainment of its workforce, it is equally if not more important that the skills available and being developed are in sync with the requirements of industry.
In 2015 the Summit Finuas Network partnered with Accenture to carry out a high level study on the skills needs for the IFS sector. That report highlighted that over 90% of respondents said that recruiting key talent would be a significant driver of future growth and over 60% said that developing skills would be a determining factor in future growth. And this was before Brexit! While it is still a little early to predict the exact numbers of jobs that Ireland may gain as a result of the transfer of London based business it is clear that since companies were already highlighting challenges around recruitment and development of skills that it is now even more imperative that actions to mitigate these are prioritised.
One initiative born out of the financial crisis was the Finuas Networks Programme. This programme was put in place to specifically work with the IFS sector to ensure that its employees were able to avail of the skills required in order that the sector remained competitive against other global financial services centres. Since 2009 the Finuas programme has invested over €6 million euro in the development and running of hundreds of courses for the IFS sectors in areas as diverse as Sustainability Finance, International Law, Aviation, Alternative Investments, Risk and Compliance and more recently Data analytics, and Fintech.
This initiative which works in tandem with IFS2020 is focused on ensuring that the skills of IFS sector employees continue to give Ireland a competitive edge in both the growth of companies already based here and in attracting new companies to Ireland.