The project, funded by the UK government’s Local Skills Improvement Funding (LSIF), seeks to address current and future skill priorities in the region and is a direct response to the recommendations of the Yorkshire and Humber Financial and Professional Services Skills Commission.
The partnership will specifically contribute to the development of new courses and curriculum to meet the evolving demands of the FinTech sector.
The project will be led by Luminate, but will also benefit colleges within the West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges, specifically Calderdale and Shipley College who are also receiving investment for FinTech from LSIF. Together, the colleges will utilise the research to develop new learning opportunities using a suite of new equipment and technology.
Rebecca Fores, Associate Dean of Higher Education at Luminate, said: “This is an important programme of work via which we seek to develop a shared understanding of what skills are required by the region and a vision for how businesses, education providers, local government, and others can work together to develop them.
“This collaboration will play a key role in enhancing skills, fostering partnerships and driving economic growth in the region.”
She added that the key objectives for an increasingly competitive sector would include increasing skill levels, involving more FPS workers in training programmes, improving employment levels and attracting and retaining staff.
Julian Wells, Director at Whitecap Consulting, emphasised the importance of the collaboration. He said: “This partnership is a pivotal step towards fortifying the skills base in West Yorkshire’s finance and professional services sector. The sector has been experiencing change on several fronts, and developments such as FinTech and LegalTech have gained significant momentum.
“By aligning educational initiatives with current and future industry needs, we can ensure a sustainable pipeline of talent that will help future-proof the region against the evolving landscape of the industry.”
The Whitecap team will commence research and engage with regional employers and key stakeholders to understand the current FPS skills provision in the region. The project will result in a comprehensive report and recommendations, with follow-up activities including Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshops for college staff and external events, focused on emerging fields such as fintech, open to regional employers.
This collaboration builds upon Whitecap Consulting’s extensive work in the field, including multiple regionally-focused fintech, legaltech and tech ecosystem reports, including several in Yorkshire, and the FinTech Skills Framework 2023 report in the West Midlands.
The Department for Education’s Local Skills Improvement Fund is supporting nearly £7million of collaborative investment in digital innovation across colleges in West Yorkshire, including FinTech.
Photo L-R – Rebecca Fores (Luminate Education Group), Julian Wells (Whitecap Consulting), Joanne Patrickson (WYCC), Jack Leng (Calderdale College), Queralt Smith Vila (Whitecap Consulting).