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Shaping the next generation of compliance talent

Posted by: Laurence Simons 05/05/15

From September, and for the first time ever, students taking A-level Economics will be taught about the 2007 global financial crisis as part of their curriculum. As well as the contributing factors to the crash, students will learn about the effects it has had on market failure and the current economic climate, and will be instructed to compare and contrast it to events in the run-up and aftermath of the Great Depression of the 1930s.

This is good news for the compliance arena! The discipline has boomed since the crash, with more and more organisations and professionals employing ethical banking procedures in order to avoid hefty fines. But because of this high demand, the field has become particularly candidate-led, with financial establishments competing for the top talent by pushing up salaries and enhancing work-place benefits. And although this is particularly beneficial for those working within the financial services sector today, it is also evidence of a shortage of professionals, and a demonstration that more must be done to attract people to this field.

So what effect will this early introduction into the world of financial compliance mean for those teenagers, and for the wider sector? Well the interest this will generate should go some way in drawing some students away from the careers typically associated with economics – such as banking or accounting, and interest them in other areas of the field. This means what we will effectively be doing is pipelining our future talent, which will go some way in closing the specialist skills gap we are experiencing in this area.

As well as this, it can only be a good thing that the future generations heading into this sector will be equipped with knowledge and understanding of why the crash happened, and, most importantly, how to prevent it from happening again. Or as Sam Livesey, of one of the major exam boards, has commented, "The topic will give students an understanding of how financial crises occur and what measures can be put in place to avoid them".

And judging by the enthusiasm of the reception of this news, it looks like the future is bright for compliance.