Nationwide SFE scheme

Programme attracts youngsters into financial services

Graeme Jones: ‘step change’ (pic: Terry Murden)


Scotland’s first nationwide schools programme for financial services has been launched with the aim of  encouraging youngsters to seek a career the sector.

The SFE Financial Services Unified Schools Programme is run by Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) in partnership with Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). 

The pilot, which took place in November, saw six pupils (three from Newbattle High School and three from Queensferry Community High School) partnered with six financial services firms based in Edinburgh: Baillie Gifford, BlackRock, HSBC, Lloyds Banking Group, Nucleus Financial and Standard Life Aberdeen. 

The first two days were spent in the offices of the companies, on the third and final day the pupils worked with a film crew from Edinburgh College and information technology consultancy Sopra Steria to create a short video of their experience.

It is hoped the programme will more than double the number of participants next year and expand into Glasgow. The long-term aim is that the programme will support up to 5,000 young people on an annual basis. 

Graeme Jones, CEO of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: “As the landscape of Financial Services evolves rapidly, we need a step change in the diversity of our workforce to ensure we connect with the needs of customers.”

Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “These kinds of opportunities, which allow young people to experience what it is like to work, result in a better understanding of career pathways and supports young people to make an informed choice that will lead them to a rewarding career.”

Colin Halpin, SFE Board Director, Unified Schools project lead and HSBC Director, said: “With half of the pilot group now considering a career in financial services, compared with none at the beginning, this offers a strong test case to explore what can be achieved on a larger scale. If we can inspire more of Scotland’s school pupils to consider a job in financial services our industry, economy and wider society stands to benefit.”


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