Financial Services Ireland (FSI), and the Irish Business and Employers Confederation (IBEC) that represents the financial services sector, has announced the creation of 1 000 new apprenticeships as part of the international financial services apprenticeship initiative.  In September 2016, 220 apprenticeships will be offered and FSI expects to deliver 1 000 placements by 2020.

The Apprenticeship Council is tasked with the expansion of apprenticeship into new sectors of the economy. It has approved FSI and National College of Ireland to commence delivery of a suite of three unique International financial services apprenticeship schemes, aimed at school leavers, candidates with third level qualifications and workers looking to upskill. Initially the 220 apprenticeship places will be for the following positions:

  • IFS associate professional
  • IFS specialist
  • IFS advanced specialist

The IFS apprenticeships are two-years in duration. The apprentices spend 60% of their time working in IFS companies and the remainder gaining specific IFS qualifications. Apprentices across the three schemes will graduate with qualifications from level 5 (EQF 4) to level 9 (EQF 7) on the national framework of qualifications in the areas of:

  • international financial services
  • data analytics
  • risk and compliance
  • fintech (financial technology) 

Dr Phillip Matthews, President of National College of Ireland, described the apprenticeship programme as ‘ground-breaking’ and continued ‘It opens up new pathways to employment for talented people for whom access to careers in financial services would have been extremely difficult; and for employers it opens up access to a previously untapped pool of talent.’

FSI Director Marc Coleman said ‘This dual system – where apprentices work in a company and study simultaneously – has been proven to work in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands and the UK. FSI companies will be offering apprenticeships as part of this initiative.   The apprenticeship will give access to careers in international financial services to those that otherwise may not have considered it.’

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