The National Skills Academy for Financial Services training provider network to help meet the employment challenges of the recession.
Colleges that make up the National Skills Academy for Financial Services (NSAFS) training provider network are playing a pivotal part in supporting individual workers across the country to find new jobs and improve their skills if they are made redundant due to the current recession.
The individual colleges are offering various support packages to individuals and sectors – which include financial services workers from large and small companies alike. These are designed to either refresh existing skills or enable people to retrain for a new career path. Funded by regional development agencies and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC), the packages on offer cover a range of vocational training and skills development, including courses on IT, management training, retail and security, as well as general advice such as CV and presentation skills.
The various schemes are also designed to help individuals return to the labour market as soon as possible. All training is designed to be bespoke to the needs of individual companies or individual staff and is taking place either at the workplace or at one of the participating NSAFS training providers.
Sylvia Perrins, CEO of the NSAFS commented: "We all know that the country is in recession and it’s a tough time for many people. These initiatives are providing vital services to help and support workers get back on their feet. The financial services sector is just one area that has seen many thousands of people lose their jobs and it is great to see the colleges responding to these needs and other sectors which are important to their local economy.
"Should people be faced with redundancy, we will look at the best training options open to them and will be able to provide access to training including professionally-accredited courses and apprenticeship programmes with employers from across the financial services sector. Whilst no-one who needs help will be turned away, we obviously hope that they won’t lose their jobs in the first place."
Some of these schemes are focused on areas of England that employ a large number of financial services workers, including:
Yorkshire and Humber
People affected by redundancy in the region will be referred to the NSAFS from Job Centre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions. The NSAFS is to offer training and advice as part of an initiative being developed by a taskforce including regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, Leeds Financial Services Initiative (LFSI), local authority leaders, industry representatives and skills partners.
A report commissioned by the taskforce emphasises the importance of the financial services industry in the Yorkshire and Humber region, with 240,000 employed in the Leeds City region alone. The NSAFS will offer foundation degrees, as well as vocational courses and apprenticeships to those who enrol following redundancy.
Yorkshire Forward, the Region’s Development Agency, and the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) are working with partners to tackle the taskforce’s immediate priorities including developing skills and new business opportunities that allow the industry to take advantage of the current climate and retain skills.
London Tower Hamlets College, the lead training provider in London for the NSAFS, is one of three colleges making up ReStart, an inner-city charity providing employment, education and training projects to various sectors including the financial services industry. ReStart is working with all necessary agencies, including Job Centre Plus, to facilitate the most appropriate course of action. Available initially until December next year, ReStart is available for employers and for individuals living in East London and the City who have been made redundant within the last six months.
East of England
City College Norwich, the lead training provider in the East of England for the NSAFS, is hosting a series of Responding to the Recession events at the purpose-built NSAFS building, St Andrew’s House, in Norwich. These events are organised as drop-in sessions and aim to give individuals who are unemployed or facing redundancy access to free advice and practical support including help with CV writing and mock job interviews, as well as offering information about training opportunities.
City College Norwich has set up a dedicated website with information and resources that can help people at www.ccn.ac.uk/creditcrunch
Bournemouth and Poole College, one of the training providers for the NSAFS, is holding weekly drop-in sessions giving confidential consultations and the opportunity to join a free one-day work skills seminar looking at practical skills including CV writing and presentation skills. The college is also working with individual companies who have announced possible redundancies
Babington Business College, another NSAFS training provider, is offering support to any of their learners who are made redundant – in several cases they have found new jobs without learning being interrupted.
Cirencester College, another NSAFS training provider in the South West region, is running a communication programme to support adults facing redundancy or those who have already lost their jobs, including the long-term unemployed. The theme of the programme is Credit Crunch? Bite Back! In addition to communicating the value of training, other organisations in the local area are involved, including Job Centre Plus, Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Gloucestershire Primary Care trust.
The National Skills Academy for Financial Services offers national centres of excellence in skills training and development, led by employers and in partnership with government and training providers to develop a workforce with the knowledge and skills they need to match the best in the world. For more information visit: www.nsafs.co.uk