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Rising demand for skills in the financial services industry

by Mike Jones in finance 25/08/2021

The UK financial services industry is experiencing a significant shortage of talent, intensified by the rising demand as a result of the pandemic. 

According to a study by the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo), job vacancies within the industry increased by nearly 38% between Q1 and Q2 of this year. The findings follow on from the report from the Professional & Business Services Council and the Financial Services Skills Commission discovered that on average, 32% of UK businesses were facing shortages within financial, professional and business services.

According to the APSCo findings delivered by BI specialists Vacancysoft, hiring levels within the financial services industry had already exceeded last year’s by the end of July by nearly 7%. Ann Swain, the CEO of APSCo, explains that the data indicates that despite the many challenges, the recovery from the pandemic is well underway, reflected within the financial services industry, where reports suggest a considerable demand for these skilled services.

Swain highlights that this trend is likely to continue throughout this year but, employers will continue to face talent shortages, which have been intensified further by the rise in hiring levels. As a result, recruitment agencies will play a significant role in supporting employers to find the talent needed to ensure an efficient recovery from the pandemic.

Research suggests that IT professionals continue to be the most in-demand skillset, with over 15,000 new jobs advertised this year, a figure that already exceeds the job count for last year. APSCo discovered that leading business JP Morgan has over 2,200 vacancies this year, equating to an 18.3% increase on the previous year. Global investment and financial services business Citi announced over 1,550 vacancies, recording a 39% increase last year.

The skills shortages and changes in employee demands would collectively create a record change in talent strategies within the finance industry. We are experiencing massive volatility and changes in the industry. Businesses have had to adapt and change much quicker to respond to changes and demands for new talent. Despite these shortages, many are not focusing on prioritising their recruitment strategies. The finance industry must recognise the changing landscape and ensure their plans and offerings to employees match market shifts and industry competitiveness.