An interesting article in the New Statesman America looks at ways in which high school kids can benefit from education about how fintech works. As the author, and teacher, Jonathan Reynolds, points out, the class he talked to were familiar with the term, but had not grasped the potential it had to create news jobs for their futures, as well as providing an alternative way of managing their money.
His visit was part of the UK’s Fintech for Schools campaign, led by trade body Innovate Finance, and it is designed to encourage young people to understand the increasing importance of digital skills in the workplace.
It also highlights how fintech will impact their personal lives, and it introduces them to people who have already set up and run their own fintech businesses. Reynolds, (Shadow Economic Secretary to the Treasury) and a Member of Parliament, pointed out that this was the first school he had visited outside London and he is calling on his colleagues to get involved in spreading awareness of fintech around all parts of the UK.
He also points out that the Brexit issue raises questions for the UK, which has been so successful in attracting fintechs. To continue to thrive it will need as broad a pool of talent as possible to draw upon, and the uncertainty over what is happening is stopping that talent from coming to the UK.
A report produced by Innovate Finance in 2018 found that fintech firms substantially rely on importing overseas talent, as a complement to UK workers rather than a substitution. Fifty-four per cent of companies they surveyed said EEA migrants were important to getting their business off the ground. Since post-Brexit regulations will probably make this more difficult for these workers, there will be a huge need to educate British children in this sector and so guarantee a pipeline of skilled individuals who can contribute to fintech into the future.