The pilot of a new initiative to address a potential skills gap in Scotland’s fintech community has been hailed as a success.
A trial course, run in collaboration between Dunfermline payment specialist Renovite Technologies and Fife College, for the Fintech Skills Academy concluded on Friday, with further courses already planned.
Around 15 participants attended the Introduction to the Retail Card Payments Business course, which provides “a solid foundation” in retail card payments for students to transfer directly to a work environment.
The positive response from the pilot has led to the development of additional programmes, including an introductory course that Fife College is hoping to launch in May.
A consortium of fintechs, including Renovite and Dunfermline-based software firm Ingenico, is supporting the skills academy, along with Fife Council, Fife College – representatives of Opportunities Fife – and FinTech Scotland.
The syllabus is aimed at young people entering the workplace for the first time and adults with a background in IT who wish to upskill or retrain for a job in the fintech sector.
Its overarching objective is to “provide highly qualified applicants” for specialist fintech roles in the region and to avoid the formation of a potential skills gap.
Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “The Fintech Skills Academy in Fife is a great example of an ecosystem coming together to address a sector issue.
“We believe it will bring more inclusion to the fintech sector by bringing more young people to consider fintech as a career but also allowing experienced professionals learn new skills and stay relevant to the industry’s rapid transformation.”
Renovite Technologies chief operating officer Jim Tomaney said: “It is fantastic to see the fintech and education community coming together to promote STEM skills development and pre-empt the potential for a skills gap emerging.
“After all, demand for people with the right skills is only going to increase as Scotland’s international reputation for fintech excellence grows.
“I hope organisations and individuals with an interest in working in the sector continue to support and take part in the initiative and help build on its success.”
In addition to supporting the academy, Ingenico also enrolled several employees on its first course, with solutions development manager Matt Kennedy adding: “The knowledge gained will complement the existing skills of our employees and equip them to continue delivering for our customers.”
The news comes weeks after it was unveiled that the number of Scottish fintechs grew threefold in the last year.
According to FinTech Scotland, there are now more than 80 fintech-focused small and medium-sized enterprises based in Scotland.
It also follows the announcement that Hong Kong-headquartered fintech Actelligent is to establish its European headquarters in Edinburgh, in a move that represents the first inward investment into Scotland by a fintech firm from the region.