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Future Skills

By August 7, 2023September 8th, 2023Blogs

Future Competences and Skills

The Covid-19 pandemic has further accelerated the need for digital training, creating a talent recruitment and retention challenge for many businesses in the global banking and financial services sector. With the half-life of skills estimated to be only five years, an estimated 120 million workers across the sector will need to upskill or reskill.

As AI and other digital developments have become increasingly accessible and embraced, the sector has seen an increase in demand for lifelong learning. Whilst there is a proliferation of training and courses available, one of the principal challenges that employers and individuals face is identifying high-quality, affordable, and impactful training that effectively addresses skills gaps.

To help organisations and learners to navigate this landscape, and to create a collective understanding of the skills required for future success, international players like the Financial Services Skills Commission (UK) have designed a Future Skills Framework, which provides alignment on skills definition and proficiency levels across the finance sector. By creating collaborative relationships and building networks, the Commission aim to create a system-wide response to the skills and talent issues that many businesses currently face.

Similar trends can be observed internationally. In Ireland, for example, the IOB are also working towards an Irish Financial Service Skills Framework as well as offering tools like the IOB Skills Accelerator, which helps professionals to assess their skills, identify learning pathways, and progress in their careers. Future Skills Frameworks not only identify skills gaps but can also point towards appropriate and quality-assured learning opportunities, for example relevant micro-credentials.

If the sector is to effectively address talent recruitment and retention challenges, investing in lifelong learning is key. As outlined in Continuous Learning – the Most Important Skill in the Workplace, Tarja Kallonen posits that “Learning is just as natural, normal, and wellness boosting as walking and taking care of your health and fitness,”. Lifelong learning is driven by the desire to develop, acquire new skills and find purpose. Not only does it contribute to employee satisfaction, but research demonstrates that those actively engaged in continuous learning are 25% more productive in their jobs.

Whilst continuous learning is increasingly valued by management, with many firms including it in their strategic planning, there is a need for further collaboration between companies and educational institutions to enable employees to adapt and thrive in their careers.  Future Skills Frameworks and tools are one way that businesses in the financial services sector can support their staff to develop.

Strategic reflections

  • Employees who are motivated to learn are more productive and should be supported in their endeavours to develop and progress in their careers.
  • As people take more control of their careers and invest in themselves, smaller learning modules and units, such as micro-credentials, are more in demand.
  • With many different training options, there is a growing need for tools to help employees navigate the training and education landscape to find high quality offers and resources.
  • Skills and competence frameworks support organisations to identify skills gaps whilst also giving learners a sense of control, thus reducing uncertainty and fear in the industry.
  • EBTN has a role in showing learners what the future could look like and what competencies are needed.

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