From education to employment

Financial Services Skills Academy in Sutton Coldfield College

Birmingham’s Sutton Coldfield College has been hailed as a major drive in the government’s initiative to plug the predicted future skills gap in the financial sector.

From now on Sutton Coldfield College, the lead provider for the National Skills Academy for Financial Services in the West Midlands, will ensure that people across the region are equipped with the desired skills to encourage rapid growth of the financial industry.

Through continuous training, the initiative will be a big boost to both employers and employees seeking work in this sector. It also aims to make young adults aware of their personal finance issues and culminate their interest in finance providing long-term career opportunities.

With Birmingham cited as one of the UK’s largest financial services centres, the National Skills Academy plans to introduce at least 6000 young adults, all between the age 16 and 19, to various innovative training courses in a bid to enhance their knowledge in personal and business finance.

It is believed that Sutton Coldfield College, which received an excellent OFSTED report last year, will soon become a part of the largest college in the UK, following its merger with that of Matthew Boulton, with students around 10,000.

The Academy also plans to increase the number of students undertaking financial services qualifications by promoting career opportunities available to 14-16 year olds at schools across the region.

Dr Christine Braddock, principal of Sutton Coldfield College said: “This is a phenomenal achievement and represents all the hard work by the staff and students over the last few years to become the region’s top provider of financial services courses as a category A college.

“Our newly acclaimed status represents a real opportunity for us to develop long term strategic partnerships with employers regarding pre-employment training and apprenticeships, as well as bespoke training for their existing workforce. This will be boosted by a work placements project for 16-19 year old students and the Financial Services Foundation Degree.”

Sylvia Perrins, national director of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, said: “Sutton Coldfield College marks the sixth new academy centre to be established in the UK and is an outstanding addition to the four original operational centres launched last year in London, Manchester, Leeds and Norwich and the fifth launched during the early months of 2007 in Bristol.”

Rinku Chatterjee

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