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Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme Updates

A group of bright young professionals are calling on others of their generation to ‘invest in their future’ by considering careers in financial services. The high-flying recent graduates are all currently on the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme, a pioneering scheme funded by the European Social Fund and run by the Welsh Financial Services Forum that combines intensive work placements with academic learning across two years.

With not enough graduates aware of the potential opportunities that exist in financial services, and the industry tarnished by stereotypes of ‘boys clubs’ and rich bankers in white shirts, the scheme aims to change perceptions of the sector and show the next generation that there’s a place for them in the financial world.

The programme allows graduates to experience various financial services roles with some of Wales’ leading companies, including Atradius, Admiral, and Principality Building Society, giving them the opportunity to experience the workplace, all while studying towards an MSc in Financial Services.

One of the Graduates, Sarah Parry from Bargoed, worked on the checkout at Tesco before securing a place on the scheme. She is currently on placement as an underwriter at Atradius and offered an insight into some of the rewards the programme offers.

"You definitely don’t need a financial background to get into financial services. I studied Mathematics at the University of South Wales and have worked at Tesco for the last five years – part-time through university and then while looking for permanent work after graduating.

"I don’t think many graduates are aware of how many different opportunities there are in financial services in Wales.Having the opportunity to try out different job roles within the scheme has been a really good chance for me to find out more about the many different areas of financial services. There’s definitely something to suit everyone."

Sandra Busby, Managing Director of the Welsh Financial Service Forum who is leading the programme, commented: “We developed the scheme to show talented young graduates that there are opportunities to carve exciting and rewarding careers in the financial services sector in Wales. There are a really diverse range of graduates on the scheme, all of whom have shown exceptional tenacity in their work placements. The fact that many of them have already secured full-time positions shows that the model is working.

“The Welsh Finance Conference will give them a chance to show the next generation of bright young graduates that there’s an abundance of prospects for them in financial services here in Wales. Getting this message across to tomorrow’s workforce has to be good news for the Welsh economy.”

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