Banking & Finance

FSI CareerStart: Proving what we ‘know’ is wrong

IBEC-photoHelping those who have lost their jobs, FSI CareerStart is providing a route into financial services.

There are lots of things we ‘know’. We ‘know’ that re-training schemes don’t turn into jobs. We ‘know’ that the financial services sector is in retreat. We ‘know’ that there are no real jobs to be had anywhere. Fortunately, we are wrong about all of these things.

FSI CareerStart has helped 74 out of a group of roughly 130 people get jobs in financial services in one year. At this time in 2011, these people were just starting their courses. In fact, the recruitment level is likely to climb higher as 40 of these candidates are enrolled on a year-long diploma programme that finished in September 2012.  Candidates were put through an industry-designed training programme, designed to give them the skills they need to get started in international financial services. In addition, 80 students were placed with financial services companies and the vast majority of those are now in jobs: jobs with the sorts of international financial services companies that still thrive in the IFSC, among them State Street, Citi, JP Morgan and GAM.

“The FSI CareerStart programme is very well organised and employment-focused,” stated Kevin Warren, one of the 74 now with a job. “It provides a manageable balance of work experience and formal study, and despite the commitment involved, it can very quickly become a significant part of a person’s CV as they seek employment in the financial services sector.”

Designed to accommodate people who have lost their jobs and are now considering switching the focus of their careers, FSI Careerstart is a Springboard programme. Successful applicants will be trained in management as well as financial services and the majority will receive a six-month work placement to round out their skills. The management training is provided by IBEC, the financial by the Institute of Bankers in Ireland, and the placements and course are managed by Financial Services Ireland (FSI). Industry feedback has been positive too. Participants are typically in receipt of social protection benefits and they can continue receiving them throughout the course and placement.

“As the industry has grown used to FSI CareerStart, it has seen its benefits more clearly,” said FSI Director Brendan Bruen. “And that has translated into an eagerness to take people on placements and a recognition at job interview stage that anyone who has completed the courses and placement is a serious candidate.”

2013’s programme has just completed its recruitment. From 320 applications, 140 students have been accepted and enrolled. Having seen the quality of people applying this year, the financial services sector has already indicated its eagerness to take placements and it is expected that this will surpass last year’s figures.

“This is the second year that Springboard, within which FSI CareerStart is just one programme, has been running, and the third year that CareerStart has been run in one form or another,” explained FSI CareerStart project lead Carol Kenna.

“So what we are seeing is wider awareness of Springboard combined with a better understanding of how it works. That means people are thinking about it seriously as a route back to employment and are matching their aptitudes to their potential new careers better. In turn, that means a higher proportion being accepted for the course and we’re confident that will mean even more people securing permanent jobs.”

IBEC-FSI-logo-1For more information please contact:
Carol Kenna, FSI CareerStart Project Leader
Tel: +353 1 605 1631

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