What We Do

Building skills in financial services

Our work is focused on building skills in the financial services sector.

We are working directly with businesses to ensure that the sector has the talent and skills it needs for the future. Our collaborative working model and four workstreams are addressing the sector’s skills gaps and seeking solutions to enable the recruitment, retention and development of a more inclusive and diverse workforce.

Our workstreams address four objectives:

Invest in our people

Technology is changing the way we work, and in the next 10 years every role in the financial services sector will be affected by automation and technology*. Businesses need to reskill and upskill their people and move towards a culture of continuous learning to meet this challenge head on. This is essential to bridge skills gaps, and increase motivation, retention and company productivity.

*Financial Services Skills Taskforce report, Jan 2020

Future skills framework

As technology changes the ways we work and do business, we need a system-wide response to learning and development. Some skills, such as data analytics, User Experience (UX) and User Interface (UI), are common across the industry and we are working with firms to develop a common framework for skills such as these.

The skills framework will allow firms to better identify and address skills gaps, tailor their training programmes, and match training providers and materials to skills needs. This workstream will develop a comprehensive skills framework for the sector, identifying new and future skills across the sector.

Increase awareness, widen access and attract talent

Perceptions of the sector and concerns about purpose and culture can act as a disincentive to people embarking on a career in financial services. We need to change awareness of the sector to broaden and deepen the pipeline of talent looking to join.

Changing perceptions will help to ensure the sector is seen as competitive against other industries requiring the same skills, and will inspire a new generation of talent to look to our sector for their career prospects.

This workstream will identify the drivers of existing and new talent and promote best practice, coordinating a more effective talent pipeline locally and nationally. A wealth of evidence shows that a diverse workforce is linked to sector perception and simultaneously has a positive impact on business performance. This workstream looks at the intersection of widening access to a diverse workforce and the impact of this on business performance.

Diversity, inclusion and progression

The demographics of our sector and society remain out of kilter, particularly at management levels*. Additionally, leadership roles are predominantly located in London, limiting opportunities for those who live elsewhere.

To strengthen progression and inclusivity, firms need well defined programmes that support career development for all. While there are excellent programmes already in place, we need to see increased scale and rigour to promote greater gender, ethnic and social inclusion. We must overcome the perception that progression can only happen in London, to ensure we have a genuinely national sector.

This workstream will identify the structural issues that impact underrepresented groups and promote best practice and collaboration. We encourage firms to sign up to public commitments on diversity initiatives and advocate for inclusion. We will create a sector-wide ambition on inclusion, creating an evidence base and benchmarks to measure and monitor progress.

*‘Race in the Workplace; The Mcgregor-Smith Review’ (2017) & The Investment Association ‘Black voices; Building black representation in investment management’ (2019)

Our Latest


Read the latest news from the Commission


Sign up to hear about our future events


Read the latest research and insights from the Commission