City skills timebomb tackled by government and financial services bosses

City firms and the government must work together to attract new blood to the financial services sector, with a greater focus on on-the-job training, a major report has recommended.

The report by the Financial Services Global Competitiveness Group, co-chaired by chancellor Alistair Darling and with several leading City bosses as members, warned that many skilled practitioners were set to leave the sector in the coming decade.

“It is therefore important to maintain the professional standing of the industry as an attractive place to work for the next generation of school-leavers and graduates,” it stated.

The report said this could be achieved by supporting a focus on financial literacy and skills at school, with City firms and education authorities forming partnerships to provide on-the-job training. Universities and industry should also work more closely to promote relevant skills and careers.

Further recommendations include greater use of secondments between industry, government, academia and regulators, and the possible introduction of continuing professional development – as in the legal sector – for City employees.

The group also said City firms should aim to re-engage older professionals who have temporarily left the workforce, especially those with strong advisory skills.

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