Innovative financial services graduate programme launched at USW

Accounting and Finance

An innovative financial services graduate programme, which sees 35 top graduates stay in or return to Wales to gain experience with top employers – and gain a Masters degree – has been launched at the University of South Wales.

Welsh Government Finance Secretary, Mark Drakeford, joined the organisers of the Welsh Financial Services Graduate Programme and participating employers, to welcome the newest members of one of the country’s highest growth sectors.

Managed by the Welsh Financial Services Forum and industry partners, the programme exists to ensure that Wales retains its high-calibre graduates to support the Welsh financial services sector, creating an elite talent pool that it is hoped will support the growth of indigenous companies and attract further businesses to establish a presence in Wales.

Since first launching in 2013, the programme has recruited and developed over 70 graduates, 95% of which have secured permanent roles with participating companies or within the financial services sector. The first version launched in 2013 as a Welsh Government backed pilot programme, with part-funding now received from the European Social Fund.

Over the programme’s two-year period, each graduate will have the opportunity to develop a unique level of industry insight as they rotate through a series of structured work placements and additional academic training. Each can expect to gain experience in the key areas employers in the sector are calling for including: risk, compliance, innovation, leadership and management and finance, and a customised MSc in Financial Services Management delivered by University of South Wales on graduation.

Participating companies include some of Wales’ largest financial organisations and a growing number of ambitious home-grown firms including: Admiral Group, Atradius, Composite Legal Expenses, DS Smith, Finance Wales, GM Financial, Hodge Bank, Legal & General Investment Management, LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, Optimum Credit Ltd, Principality Building Society and V12 Retail Finance.