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BMet’s BPFS sector expertise helps boost “skills for future success” UK report

BMet’s expertise in the Business Professional Financial Services (BPFS) sector has been credited in a key report addressing skills challenges to delivery growth in UK regions.

The college’s specialist and professional input helped shape the content of the aptly named UK-based “Skills for Future Success” report.

Suzie Branch-Haddow, Vice Principal of External Development at BMet, represented the Birmingham-wide college by feeding back extensive knowledge to fellow colleagues across the region’s BPFS sector, at a series of virtual roundtables and interviews.

Suzie was able to transfer insight and intelligence through BMet’s experience of working with the regional BPFS sector, particularly through activity at the college’s Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy (GBPSA) – the UK’s only Business Professional Services Academy.

The report, from the Professional & Business Services Council and the Financial Services Skills Commission, is a solutions-based response to the need for urgent action to build a lasting skills culture across the UK.

According to research, almost one-third of sector employers in the UK reported skills shortages resulting in vacancies, with thousands of critical roles in areas like data and technology going unfilled.

Extensive research and real-life interviews with employers, education providers and government bodies across the regions and nations of the UK formed the bulk of the report.

BMet’s business partnership organisations including Deloitte, KPMG and Lloyds also provided invaluable contributions for the report.

As the report states, “The success of organisations is intrinsically tied to the strength of their people.” It underlines the UK’s existing expertise and the importance of financial, professional and business services (FPBS) to the entire economy.

Suzie expressed: “It was extremely beneficial to be able to showcase BMet’s expertise in this area in an extremely important report, that will help address real societal needs and provide solutions to skills shortages.

“Not only were we able to include BMet’s expert knowledge, but also our tried and tested pathways through our employer partnerships, that have helped our students, businesses and the economy.

“Our GBPSA is a unique employer-education partnership with the vision to become a hub for the Business and Professional Services Sector community within the region through providing education, training and development to meet the future development needs of the sector. Thus, ultimately “future-proofing” the sector, through ensuring the supply of a well-educated work force to meet the needs of employers.”

The report, which included engagement from over 80 FPBS employers to inform the research, analysed sector-wide job posting, employment, qualification, and skills gap data in large organisations from across the UK.

Key inserts and findings of the report that were addressed included:

  • Skills gaps can be caused by many different factors and impact employers and employees in different ways.
  • Small and medium businesses may have more difficult challenges recruiting or upskilling talent to meet skills needs.
  • Regional employers have more limited talent pools to draw from and are often at a disadvantage competing with London-based firms.
  • If navigated effectively, the sector’s response to the skills needs across the UK could provide an unprecedented opportunity to grow the sector, create more high-quality jobs and support levelling-up across the regions and nations.
  • The report analysis estimates that reducing the skills gap – in combination with the effect of automation – could increase the output of the FPBS sector over time by an amount equivalent to £38 billion of extra economic activity per year. This would mean the sector would be 12 percent larger in 2038, than it was in 2018 (in constant 2018 prices).

To find out more about BMet’s mutually employer partnerships, please visit: https://www.bmet.ac.uk/employers/

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