Financial services popular choice for school leavers

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FINANCIAL services continue to be a popular choice for Island school leavers and graduates, according to Jersey Finance, with 330 locally based entrants recruited during 2016.

In addition, an increasing number of firms are now offering graduate and school leaver programmes, they say, although more companies are always encouraged to take part because of high demand for placements.

Over the past five years nearly 200 sixth-formers have taken part in the Life in Finance one- to two-week placement programme, which this year attracted 35 A-level students from six schools who were placed in 27 financial services firms.

The programme gives an insight into the various opportunities within the industry and a taste of the working environment, with a ‘meet and greet’ event enabling prospective students and representatives from the firms to meet informally before the selection process.

However, a training programme offered last year to enable bank workers to prepare for a role in trust or funds work has not as yet attracted any participants.

The two five-day conversion courses were developed by training company BPP Professional Development and Jersey Finance to cater for those facing redundancy from the banking sector, not least because technological systems are replacing jobs that were previously carried out manually – a trend that is expected to continue.

Statistics show that whereas ten years ago over 6,000 of the 13,000 jobs in financial services were in the banking sector, that number has steadily fallen, last year to 4,290, whereas the number of people employed in trust and funds work has risen to over 8,700.

Jersey Finance chief executive Geoff Cook said that although the conversion programmes had been offered to ‘displaced employees’ by some of the banks, there had not been sufficient demand. ‘We presume this is because those looking for roles have been able to move into other sectors without going through the programme,’ he said.

Jane Golding from BPP Professional Development said that in 2015, at the time the course was initially mooted, several banks were known to be cutting jobs and in addition the courses had been offered more widely and through employment agencies. She added that the courses could be run on five consecutive days or once a week for five weeks.

 

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