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Here in Wales, we lived under fairly heavy restrictions until July and whilst some businesses returned to office life, others continued working remotely or introduced hybrid models to suit the demand for flexible working while ensuring everyone felt safe.
We continued to adapt our recruitment campaigns with virtual interviews, assessment centres and onboarding but the limited time we had to be able to host and attend face to face events was a pleasure, with lots of energy and a fresh perspective on things.
A particular highlight was hosting a hybrid launch event for the 2021-23 Financial Services Programme back in September, where we welcomed 38 talented individuals on board. The programme was officially launched by Minister for Economy, Vaughan Gething and our key-note speaker was Admiral Group CEO, Milena Mondini de Focatiis, who praised the programme for giving the financial sector the adaptability, diversity, and inclusion it needs to be resilient post-pandemic.
We were also able to host an end of programme event in Chapel where we celebrated the hard work and success of both the Programmes finishing in 2021 as well as welcoming the new group of financial services graduates in person. Everyone had a great evening, and it helped our new graduates connect with each other before officially starting the programme.
A real standout moment for our team was being awarded Best Academic Programme of the Year at the Fintech Awards. We attended the live ceremony hosted at the Tramshed and were elated to be named winners, having spent the last eight years building the Programme to what it is today.
Throughout the year we’ve also continued to work closely with local schools, Careers Wales and other educational initiatives to help to inspire the next generation into careers in STEM and financial services. Our Graduates have held talks, sat on panels and been at the forefront in supporting our aim of connecting with children of all ages in order to engage and inspire them no matter what their background. We look forward to continuing this into the new year.
Our newest financial services recruits have already got off to a brilliant start, they’re engaged across all aspects of the programme and are already producing fantastic results with their MSc. 95% of the group were awarded a merit or distinction in their first module. We’re looking forward to seeing them develop their knowledge and skills over the next two years and will be supporting them every step of the way.
The severe shortage of high-quality candidate has been reported widely across a number of sectors including financial services and data roles, but as we look to the new year, we’re confident that the work we’re doing with employers and academia to develop candidates with the acumen, skills, and training will help narrow that skills gap here in Wales.
We’ve been planning a fantastic launch event for our next Fast Track Data/AI Programme which kicks off in January and can’t wait to welcome 13 talented STEM graduates into the fold.
So far, over 200 graduates have launched their careers here in Wales through our Programme’s and this is set to grow with the promising talent we have on board for 2022.
From everyone at the Welsh Contact Centre Forum and the Graduate Programme team, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas and look forward to working together in the New Year.