Scotland’s ‘Fintech Skills Academy’ pilot hailed a success

The pilot of Scotland’s new Fintech Skills Academy initiative, announced in September last year, has been hailed as a success. An ‘Introduction to the Retail Card Payments Business’, run in a collaboration between Dunfermline payment specialist Renovite Technologies and Fife College, concluded on Friday.

Participants with varying levels of experience, from trainees through to seasoned software developers, took part in the course. Its objective was to provide a solid foundation in retail card payments which could then be applied directly to a work environment.

Jim Tomaney, chief operating officer at Renovite Technologies said:

“It is fantastic to see the fintech and education community coming together to promote STEM skills development and pre-empt the potential for a skills gap emerging. After all, demand for people with the right skills is only going to increase as Scotland’s international reputation for fintech excellence grows. I hope organisations and individuals with an interest in working in the sector continue to support and take part in the initiative and help build on its success.”

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said:

“The Fintech Skills Academy in Fife is a great example of an ecosystem coming together to address a sector issue. We’re proud to have been part of this initiative alongside Fintech firms, established businesses and the teams at Fife College and Fife council. We believe it will bring more inclusion to the fintech sector by bringing more young people to consider fintech as a career but also allowing experienced professionals learn new skills and stay relevant to the industry’s rapid transformation.”

The Fintech Skills Academy syllabus is aimed at both young people about to enter work for the first time and adults with a background in IT wishing to upskill or retrain specifically for employment in financial technology environments.

Sharon Burns, Curriculum Manager at Fife College said:

“We are delighted to be working closely with local businesses who are leading the way in fintech and payments technologies. At Fife College, we are committed to providing a high level of training to ensure businesses have the cutting-edge skills they need to drive their businesses forward. We recognise it is vital for Fife College to develop close relationships with industry to inform our curriculum and prepare our students for the skills required in the workplace. Fife College is committed to being a leading provider of computing and technology skills.”

The skills academy is being driven by a consortium of International Fintech companies, Fife Council, Fife College – representatives of Opportunities Fife – and Fintech Scotland. Its overarching objective is to provide a steady flow of highly qualified applicants for the growing number of specialist roles in Fintech in the region and to avoid the potential of a skill gap developing.

Matt Kennedy, solutions development manager at Ingenico commented:

“The Introduction to Retail Cards Payment business course is a fantastic learning opportunity for those looking to get involved with the growing Payments industry in Fife. As one of the largest employers in the area, Ingenico is delighted to support this initiative. As well as providing direction for the Fintech Skills Academy, we have also enrolled several employees on its first course. The knowledge gained will complement the existing skills of our employees and equip them to continue delivering for our customers.”