Quotezone.co.uk, a UK-based insurance aggregator, has announced the launch of a new scholarship programme that has been specifically designed to help address the sector’s looming talent shortage, an approach that has been hailed by politicians, academics and business leaders across the UK.
Lady Borwick, former Deputy Mayor of London and past member of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, said:
“It is vital that we do all we can to create jobs and opportunities for the next generation, investing in our young people in order to enable them to drive innovation forward.
“Whether it’s in banking, financial services, technology, media or the arts, finance and technology training is vital. That’s why this scholarship matters – because it gives young people the opportunity to explore these vital skills, which can in turn help them to take advantage of all the possibilities and career options that arise for them in the future.”
Peter Oakes, Founder of Fintech UK, the industry network for the UK’s fintech sector, added:
“The UK is arguably Europe’s fintech capital but many young professionals assume British fintech companies are only interested in hiring finance and computer science graduates. That’s why the structure of this fintech scholarship, the fact that it is specifically designed to appeal to students from a diverse range of other areas, is particularly welcome.
“Some of the most innovative and fast-growing fintech businesses in the UK have been created by entrepreneurs from non-traditional backgrounds, and a greater diversity of experience (and diversity of thought) is sure to help strengthen the sector even more.”
Leading academics also recognised the new scholarship programme as an important way to foster greater diversity in fintech.
Daniel Broby, Course Director, MSc Fintech, Strathclyde Business School, said:
“Initiatives like this are exactly what the Fintech sector needs. The financial sector is being reinvented and we need bright students to think out of the box. In this respect, diversity of backgrounds is a proven recipe for success.”
David Coker, a former investment banker and current finance lecturer at the University of Westminster, agreed:
“The list of contributions made to fintech by those with non-traditional backgrounds is extensive. It’s the main driver behind the disruptive nature of fintech. By encouraging students from non-traditional backgrounds to enter the field, Quotezone shows they ‘get it’.”
Launched in 2005, Quotezone.co.uk has grown to become one of the UK’s leading financial comparison platforms, processing almost 3 million price comparisons each year.
Greg Wilson, the fintech entrepreneur behind Quotezone.co.uk, had this to say about the company’s new Fintech Scholarship:
“Talented graduates are the lifeblood of the fintech sector, but our industry faces a looming talent shortage in the not-too-distant future.
“As an established player in this sector, Quotezone.co.uk is keen to connect with students that may never have considered a career in fintech, and encourage them to explore how they can be part of this dynamic, fast-growing industry no matter what degree they’re currently working towards.
“While tech companies like ours obviously need computer scientists, and many financial services companies depend on finance graduates, the fintech sector also has a lot to gain from attracting a diversity of other skillsets to the industry, whether that’s law students, liberal arts majors, engineers, philosophy scholars or life scientists.
“In fact, although I’m the CEO of one of the UK’s leading financial comparison platforms I graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering, which many of today’s university students might not view as a typical entry point to a successful career in fintech. That’s why our new scholarship programme is specifically designed for students that may never have considered a career in this sector.”
Supporting Wilson’s assertion about a looming talent shortage, data from a wide range of research firms and government agencies, including the Department for Education, suggests the talent shortage is the single biggest concern for senior leaders in the financial services industry.
“The financial services industry has a lot to offer graduates,” Greg Wilson added. “But we need to demonstrate that our industry cares about these young professionals and is committed to advancing their careers, no matter which degree programme they complete.”
The full details of the insurtech firm’s new initiative are available on its website