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BMet launches first FinTech short course and further education ‘blueprint’

BMet College has published a FinTech Skills Framework April 2023 which it describes as a ‘Blueprint for Further Education in Birmingham and the West Midlands.’  The report was launched this morning (Thursday, 20th April 2023) at a joint BMet/SuperTech breakfast event (Studio venue, Birmingham) which featured many of the industry stakeholders who participated in the research.

Working with SuperTech, next month BMet will also launch what it believes to be the first FE-led short course in FinTech in the country. Over the next two years, the College anticipates rolling out additional courses which will serve around 50-60 new students.

In the West Midlands, it is estimated FinTech accounts for £474M of GVA for 2022, a 15% increase in just two years. The productivity level in the region’s FinTech sector is almost double the average output per worker in the West Midlands. The regional workforce has also increased remarkably, growing 51% in two years and now standing at over 11,000 people.

The short course starting in May will take around three months with self-study, online and in-college learning options. It will introduce learners to FinTech, covering behavioural and technology strands. It will feature assessment by an expert panel and deliver on the demand for continuous innovation.

Commenting on the report, Suzie Branch-Haddow, Vice Principal (External Development) at BMet said:

“It sets out a skills development framework that is vital for one of our region’s most dynamic and exciting sectors. It’s not overstretching the point to say it’s a game changer.

“Ten years ago, BMet established the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy (GBPSA). It continues to specialise in developing the skills and knowledge needed in the business, professional and financial services (BPFS) sector, working in partnership with employers.

“BMet is at forefront again, ready to respond to what industry is telling us.”

Whitecap Consulting was commissioned by BMet, on behalf of Colleges West Midlands, and SuperTech to assess skills requirements across the West Midlands for the FinTech sector.  The report, supported by the Skills Development Fund from the Department for Education (DfE), determines the need and opportunity to provide targeted skills provision to support the future growth and competitiveness of the region’s FinTech sector.

As the UK’s only professional technology supercluster SuperTech is passionate about advancing the development of next generation services, building on Birmingham’s status as one of the UK’s three recognised FinTech hubs. Over the last two years SuperTech has radically re-shaped the inward investment story on the region’s innovation capacity.

Hilary Smyth-Allen, Executive lead for SuperTech, said:

“Across the UK and in the region, FinTech faces significant skills shortages. There is major competition for high value skills among high growth sectors.

“But this report gives a clear understanding of the required skillsets, including the technical and behavioural competencies which industry needs.

“There is a new emphasis on upskilling and re-skilling, rather than turning to recruitment. Fast growing, nimble FinTech employers are open to new skills development solutions.”

Suzie added:

“Birmingham and the West Midlands boast a young and diverse population. Qualification levels are on the increase and more young people are choosing to develop their careers close to home. But there is still work to do to prepare our young people for the jobs of tomorrow while women and ethnic minorities in UK FinTech are underrepresented.

“We have a responsibility to advance our diverse pool of talent. We can re-position the region’s further education sector in the minds of employers as part of an integrated skills solution.”

Through market insight and stakeholder interviews, four key skills requirements were identified for growth and competitiveness: core financial services knowledge; generic business skills; technical skills and behavioural attributes.

Richard Coates, Whitecap Managing Director, said:

“This report clearly demonstrates the regional performance and growth opportunity surrounding the West Midlands FinTech sector and the opportunity for the Further Education sector to contribute significantly to the regional FinTech skills provision and sector growth.

“However, there is a significant skills shortage, both regionally and across the FinTech sector and a specific gap in the market regarding the supply of skills provision to the FinTech sector.”

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