Skills and Talent

Scottish Financial Enterprise established its Skills & Talent Group to support the delivery of the Scottish Financial Services Strategy, which was endorsed by Scottish Government in 2017.

It is Chaired by Barry Connolly of NatWest Group and reports into Scottish Government’s Financial Services Advisory Board (FiSAB), co-chaired by the First Minister and the SFE Chairperson.

The FiSAB Skills & Talent Group has made significant progress on four key areas through a combined team of industry leaders, public sector and further education partners. These are transformational programmes for the industry and integral to the long-term flow of talent into financial services in Scotland.

All SFE members are encouraged to participate in the initiatives below to help ensure we have the skills and talent we need now and in the future. If you want to find out more about how you or your business can get involved please contact Caitlin Cooke

Strategic forecasting

An industry expert panel has been created to look at skills forecasting. Led by Alistair Brannan of EY, the panel looks at data to determine financial services skills needs for the future.

Technology, regulation, customer behaviour and COVID-19 are all key drivers. The identification of roles more or less in demand, new roles and roles under threat fall into its remit.

The output of the group helps shape the focus of other Skills & Talent workstreams. In its initial meetings, the panel identified eight key job families to assist skills investment.

Please contact Caitlin Cooke, for more information.

Fast Track into Financial Services

Fast Track is an award-winning six-week work-readiness course developed for HNC/HND/Degree level graduates progressing a career in Scotland’s financial services sector and is the result of a partnership project involving SFE members, learning providers and Skills Development Scotland.  

Regional industry-led hubs have been developed to co-design and co-deliver the agile programme, which will evolve in response to the industry’s recruitment needs and provides participants a good foundation to secure future employment. The West Hub is Chaired by Scott Stewart of Barclays and the East Hub is Chaired by Stuart Langan and Heather Mclellan of Lloyds Banking Group. Marcella Boyle is the Fast Track Project Manager.

Find out more here > Fast Track into Financial Services

Financial Services Unified Schools Programme

The Financial Services Unified Schools Programme (USP) has been developed to encourage and inspire pupils, their teachers, influencers, and careers advisers to help young people consider careers in financial services.

Sponsored by SFE Board Member Colin Halpin of HSBC, USP engages pupils in high schools across Scotland. By creating a connection with young people while they are at school and curious about what career they may pursue, we are creating a vital and unique opportunity to bolster our talent pipeline

Most financial services organisations have their own programmes with schools. The purpose of USP is to complement existing programmes with unified messages from the financial services industry.

Find out more here > Financial Services Unified Schools Programme


Apprenticeships and other forms of in-work training represent an increasingly important role in upskilling and reskilling the industry's workforce.

Through engagement across Foundation, Modern and Graduate Apprenticeships, there is a strong willingness from financial services organisations to create alternative entry level pathways and develop and reskill colleagues in the workplace to the benefit of both their organisations and the Scottish economy.

The workstream has undertaken a programme of work with Skills Development Scotland to simplify access and review and develop apprenticeship pathways. Its first key output is the creation of a new Modern Apprenticeship in Providing Financial Services, which will be available from April 2021.

Skills Development Scotland is seeking to develop three new apprenticeships covering Digital Technology (Cyber Security, Data Analysis and Software Development), Procurement and Supply, and Project Management and Business Process/Business Improvement. SFE members are invited to participate in employee workshops and contribute to the Technical Expert Groups. This work will begin early November and conclude in March. Find out more here > Help shape the next generation of apprenticeships

Please contact Caitlin Cooke, for more information.