Steve hughes

10 July 2014

Welsh Financial Services Graduate Scheme boosted as Principality joins

Wales’ largest building society joins as the programme recruits additional participants in the increasingly popular programme for September.

Current programme graduate Sam Griffiths, who will be spending his next placement with the Principality said: “The major attraction of the programme was to gain experience in big, established financial services companies. The fact that they are based in Wales is the icing on the cake. Wales’ pool of talent is huge and it is a shame that many of the region’s talented graduates feel obliged to start or indeed further their careers outside Wales, due to the lack of perceived opportunities.

“The recent introduction of the Principality to the scheme shows that this ambitious programme is not only thriving, but also really gathering some momentum in how it is perceived by other major Welsh financial services companies.”

The programme, partially funded by Welsh Government’s Sector Priority Fund, aims to foster home grown talent in order to create the future leaders and professionals in the sector, which has a strong – and growing - presence in Wales. Offering graduates the chance to experience a professional career in financial services first hand, the scheme gives participants two year paid placements, spanning the participating businesses.

Those on the scheme will receive structured training, professional qualification and vitally important work experience in key roles such as underwriting, account management and finance, across the participating businesses. Through this collaborative approach, Wales, which has a strong financial services employer presence, is able to inspire and develop a talent pool of future financial services professionals.

Anne Middleton, Welsh Chair of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and HR Manager at Atradius, key in conceptualising and launching the scheme, said: “It’s a real boost that Principality has joined us. Not only because of their importance as a major player on the Welsh financial landscape, but also, with a branch network which reaches all over Wales, they also bring a whole new ‘High Street’ dimension to the scheme, giving participants exposure to another facet of the experience of working in financial services.”

Steve Hughes, Group Finance Director at Principality, said: “As a mutual building society, we have a commitment to the people of Wales on many levels, not simply financially but also as part of the community and beyond. This programme is a fantastic way for us to give something back – helping talented Welsh graduates get a firm foot on the career ladder. But it is also an excellent way for us to join other financial services businesses in creating a base of home grown talent, which will, over time, help secure the future of Wales as a financial service industry centre of excellence.” 

Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology, Ken Skates said: “It is fantastic to see Principality joining this pioneering scheme, which continues to go from strength to strength. As a mutual building society, they bring so much to this partnership and will play a pivotal role in developing skills and talent within Wales’ financial services sector.

“We want to see more of our employers in priority sectors working together and sharing responsibility for training and professional development. This is one of the hallmarks of a sustainable skills system and is a key to our forthcoming Skills Implementation Plan, which I will launch later this month.”

The programme would like to hear from businesses and graduates interested in participating.  Please contact Rowena O’Sullivan for further details Rowena.O’Sullivan@atradius.com .

Published: 10/07/2014