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New financial services action plan to support future skills requirements

27 November 2013

  • SDS Press Release Archive

Increased regulation and business innovation driving demand for specialist roles.

A new Skills Investment Plan (SIP) for Scotland's multi-billion pound Financial Services industry was launched in Glasgow last night.

Despite the impact of the global recession, around 84,700 people are employed in the industry which generates £9.2 billion of gross value added to the Scottish economy.

The new SIP maps out what the sector needs to remain strong and identifies key opportunities for growth with increased regulation highlighted as holding potential for new jobs in highly skilled business critical roles in risk, compliance and ICT.

Industry leaders predict that future demand for experienced roles are in investment operations, customer service and actuarial roles, whilst future skills demand at entry level is likely to stem from customer services, sales and technical roles.

Speaking as the SIP was launched at the annual IFSD networking event at their conference centre in Glasgow, Gordon McGuinness, Deputy Director, Industry & Enterprise at Skills Development Scotland (SDS) said:

"The SIP provides a cornerstone for enhancing skills within the financial services sector, with all partners working together. In facilitating the SIP it became clear that skills will continue to play an integral role in securing the financial services sector in the future. We look forward to the implementation of the SIP action plan, which will continue to be led by the sector."

Jim Lindsay, Chair of the Financial Services Advisory Board Skills Group, added:

"The SIP is a major step forward to help the financial services sector in Scotland to achieve future growth ambitions. Setting out a clear strategy developed by partners and employers, the SIP supports Scotland's ambition to be a world-leading financial services centre. It will provide the focus towards increasing the attractiveness of the sector and improving work readiness of new entrants. It will also focus on developing and retaining key skills."

Owen Kelly, Chief Executive of Scottish Financial Enterprise, added:

"The wealth of skills on offer is a key attraction for financial services companies choosing to locate in Scotland.  However with this success, can also come the challenge of maintaining, and indeed increasing, the skills base needed to meet demand in the right areas.  I am pleased to welcome the SIP as a way forward for both the sector and relevant partners to nurture talent, unlock potential and ensure young people have the right skills to make the most of the opportunities on offer."

The SIP is designed to support the future development of the sector in Scotland. It was developed by the sector and facilitated by Skills Development Scotland (SDS) and partners on behalf of the Scottish Government.

It sets out a clear strategy for the Financial Services sector, looking at the current situation and highlights future skills priorities required to support growth ambitions.
Here's a brief summary of the key skills issues:

•    Attraction and retention of top talent
•    Talent attraction at entry levels
•    Work readiness of new entrants
•    Potential skills gaps and shortages
•    Strategic engagement between the sector and the skills system
•    Alternative entry routes

The SIP includes a detailed action plan, which will be implemented and monitored by the skills group over the next two years. Key actions include schools engagement and targeted marketing to improve sector attractiveness. Work readiness programmes will be delivered through employability schemes, internships and placements.  In addition, Modern Apprenticeships will play a key role in the development and delivery of future skills.

The SIP is available to download on Our Skillsforce on


Fiona Riddell, SDS Communications
Telephone: 0300 013 4392 ~ Mobile: 07887 635389

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