West Midlands colleges secure share of £2.5 million grant to improve FinTech education

Colleges West Midlands has secured a share of a £2.5 million grant designed to improve FinTech educational opportunities across the region.

The consortium, which comprises of 18 of the region’s colleges, was supported by Birmingham-based SuperTech, the UK’s only body dedicated to the greater adoption of technology in professional and business services.

The initiative will see colleges engage with SuperTech and major financial firms including BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Wesleyan and Paragon Bank to develop new industry focused FinTech courses.

The move follows the results of last year’s Kalifa Review of UK Fintech, which established Birmingham as a major hub and identified improvements in FinTech focused further education nationally, as a way of ensuring continued growth through access to talent.

A study by independent research firm White Cap Consulting in 2020 revealed that the West Midlands FinTech sector contributes £411.7m GVA (Gross Value Added) to the regional economy and employs 7,377 people.

The initiative is being led by SuperTech and BMet, home of the Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy, with funding provided by the Department for Education’s Skills Development Fund, supported by fintech insight specialists Whitecap Consulting.

SuperTech and BMet are now actively seeking additional FinTech and financial services firms to feed into the creation of short courses that will ultimately help them fill skills gaps and continue to grow.

Hilary Smyth-Allen, SuperTech executive lead, said: “FinTech is one of the regions fastest growing sectors, with a high number of scale up businesses. To attract further investment and ensure firms can continue to grow we need to ensure we are upskilling the workforce. This strategic partnership will create courses that are closely matched to the needs of businesses to help fulfil high value jobs and provide opportunities for West Midlands citizens.”

Suzie Branch-Haddow, vice principal for external development at BMet said: “This is a transformational opportunity for us in the further education sector. Leveraging innovation funding, we are developing new programmes to meet the needs of the thriving FinTech sector both in the region and across the UK. All of which helps to underpin further education’s vital role in supporting regional business growth.”

FinTech and financial services firms from across the region looking to take part in the FinTech education initiative are being encouraged to contact SuperTech directly: hello@supertechwm.com.