Industry experts needed to develop new foundation degrees for financial services

23 November 2005

The Financial Services Skills Council (FSSC) is looking for industry experts to get involved in a new project to develop a Foundation Degree framework for the financial services industry.

Foundation degrees are higher education qualifications which combine academic study with work based learning and experience. They are specially designed to be both flexible and accessible, enabling students to learn at, through and in work. They can also provide a cost-effective way of training new or existing staff.

The aim of the FSSC foundation degrees project is to develop a coherent blueprint for the development and delivery of relevant foundation degrees for the financial services sector. Initially, the framework will cover banking and insurance, with other industry areas added in the future. The blueprint will be based on employer requirements in terms of knowledge and skills across the sector and sub-sectors. It will guide providers in developing foundation degrees which are appropriate to the sector’s needs.

The project developed following FSSC-sponsored research amongst more than 500 employers, employees and students carried out in 2004. Lucy Courtenay, FSSC Standards and Accreditation Director, says, "Although there was low awareness of foundation degrees, once respondents understood more about them, employer views were extremely encouraging. For example, employers are considering how foundation degrees might help them to develop staff moving up to more senior managerial roles."

Development of the new foundation degree framework will depend on the involvement of industry experts and the FSSC is on the hunt for members to participate in steering and working groups. There will be a meeting on Wednesday 14 December to enable potential steering and working group members to find out more about foundation degrees and the project and decide how they would like to be involved.

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