Funding for the Hidden Powerhouse to deliver a growth agenda for the SME market and Leadership 21C to create a culture for enhanced and sustainable board performance.

The Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) is pleased to announce it is to receive over £1.7m worth of funding from the Employer Investment Fund (EIF) for two projects. The investment, which the Financial Skills Partnership will receive over the course of two years, has been awarded to the Hidden Powerhouse project and Leadership 21C.

The Hidden Powerhouse project is a combination of a foundation college, pre-employment programme, internships and an employment pathway. By recruiting unemployed graduates who are receiving Job Seeker’s Allowance, Hidden Powerhouse will fast track graduates’ employability for SMEs by developing skills essential to the financial services sector. Leadership 21C aims to define standards and guidance for financial services and accountancy and increase diversity both in terms of gender and age.

Liz Field, CEO of the Financial Skills Partnership, said, “If Britain is to maintain its global lead in the financial services sector it needs a skilled workforce that is the best in the world. Finance, accountancy and financial services are people based sectors. We require the best people with the right skills to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of the global financial industry. This investment recognises the valuable work FSP has been doing to support employers in helping them to attract and retain the best talent and the importance of the financial services sector to the British economy.
“The Hidden Powerhouse project is investing in employer-led solutions and taking ownership of the skills agenda. It will provide IFA firms with graduates who are partly trained by using the resources of the major product providers and can therefore add value to the business at an earlier stage. After the initial phase it will extend to other SME firms in the financial services sector. Our SME toolkit is an online solution that will support the SME in the development and growth of their business. Leadership 21C will develop solutions with the industry which will focus on competence at the top with boards, in terms of talent, diversity and ongoing competence.”