Fintech envoy says NI loses 1/3 graduates every year to rest of UK

  • Northern Ireland’s new fintech envoy, Andrew Jenkins has called for action to help tackle the university “brain drain” at a recent conference attended by local businesses, government and fintech companies.

    Envoy Jenkins said: “There is no shortage of talent but we have a skills supply problem. Every year around a third of our graduates leave Northern Ireland to go to England, Scotland and Wales, so we are exporting talent on a yearly basis.”

    He said there were not enough university places locally and that “we need some more joined up thinking”.

    The Lord Mayor of the City of London, William Russell, also attended the event and encouraged local firms to collaborate in international trade missions to help attract venture capital in areas like fintech.

    Northern Ireland has regional specialities like cyber-security which he said could hold lessons for London and other parts of the UK.

    RELATED: NI fintech envoy stresses potential of NI fintech sector

    He said: “You can open doors for businesses when a lot of the time they may not get into some of the meetings. It is collaborative. What London can do is help grow the total fintech pie in these regional cities.”

    He added that fintech “is such a big area for the UK, over 75,000 jobs created in this space – we have a very good story to tell.”

    After the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, foreign companies with funds to invest started to show a keen interest in Northern Ireland, Mr Jenkins said.

    The US insurance giant Allstate was the first company into Northern Ireland. Invest NI has spent large sums of start-up cash enticing companies to invest in the region, and according to the jobs creation agency, 40,000 people in Northern Ireland are employed across the financial and professional services with one in four of these employed in technology roles.

    Northern Ireland has also been named as the third global fintech location for the future in the 2019/20 fDi league table which includes cities such as Singapore, New York and London.

    RELATED: NI recognised as key UK Fintech hub by new NI Fintech Envoy

    Source: Press Association

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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