FinTech Wales, the independent membership association and champion of the FinTech and Financial Services industry in Wales, has appointed Gemma Hallett as its Head of Skills.
Gemma has over 16 years’ experience as an education leader, teacher, coach, entrepreneur and business mentor, and has also enjoyed a successful rugby career representing Wales at the Six Nations and Rugby World Cup. Alongside a 15-year career in the sport, Gemma became a teacher at Coleg y Cymoedd and a lecturer at the University of South Wales.
She is also the Founder of miFuture, an edtech solution that unlocks and promotes future fit career opportunities every single day, to encourage Gen Z and school leavers towards Wales’ emerging, growth and priority sectors.
Gemma has joined the team at FinTech Wales to lead on their Skills Strategy to increase awareness of FinTech career opportunities, and to develop, upskill and retain the skills required in Wales to support the FinTech ecosystem and its rapid growth.
Working closely with FinTech Wales’ members, Gemma and Deloitte’s David Rozier lead the FinTech Wales’ Skills Advisory Panel, which is made up of a group of entrepreneurs, representatives from small, medium and large enterprises as well as universities, schools and the public sector. Professionals from Deloitte, Credas, Confused.com, Capital Law, Admiral, Principality, Hodge, Yoello, Delio, Sonovate, Wagonex, Coincover, Currency Cloud, Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Swansea Universities and more, meet every other month to discuss the skills and initiatives required to support the FinTech sector in Wales, which then continuously develops, shapes and contributes to FinTech Wales’ Skills Agenda.
Gemma has already been integral in introducing a number of initiatives to raise awareness and develop skills for Wales’ FinTech ecosystem. Working with Cardiff and Vale College, other training providers and FinTech Wales’ members, FinTech Wales has introduced a new 10-week coding programme, helping people from all career backgrounds and ages to become front and back-end developers. She was also influential in Wales’ first Debate Mate Cup Champion competition, where a number of schools took part in professional debates on FinTech issues, raising further awareness of the career opportunities within the sector.
Gemma said: “FinTech Wales has already made great strides in raising its profile across the UK and globally, and we have a real opportunity to establish Wales as a leading player on the global FinTech stage. My job now is to make sure we’re building the right foundations in Wales so that we can attract, develop, upskill and retain great talent.
“It’s no secret we have a critical skills shortage. The number of job opportunities far outweighs the skills available, however I know that we can make a difference and gradually close that gap. There’s no quick fix, but there are plenty of opportunities for us to engage and shape a future talent pool and make a big impact long-term.
FinTech Wales launched in April 2019 to provide an independent voice for the FinTech industry, both within Wales and beyond, to champion and maximise the potential for all businesses in this sector.
As well as nurturing and supporting those businesses already in Wales, it aims to develop an ecosystem that will encourage and attract new FinTech companies to start-up or scale-up in our region. Ultimately, the goal is to make Wales a leading pillar in the global FinTech community.
Sarah Williams-Gardener, CEO at FinTech Wales, said: “From the very first time I met Gemma her passion for developing talent was abundantly clear. Her tenacious energy and leadership has enabled us to deliver on our aspirations to raise awareness of, and develop talent for the thriving Welsh Fintech sector.
“In order to achieve our mission and see Wales being globally recognised for its FinTech excellence, we have to have a strong pipeline of skills and talent in place. This is an essential requirement when attracting more FinTechs to scale their teams in Wales.
“I’m delighted to have Gemma on board. We share the same passion and determination to provide Welsh communities with high value employment opportunities, in parallel to supporting the innovative world leading FinTech’s we have here in Wales. Our members and partners are already seeing benefits from our early initiatives and with Gemma on board there’s much more to come.” Sarah added.
Earlier this year, Cardiff Capital Region (CCR) announced a £1.6 million, five-year investment in FinTech Wales, which will be spread over a five-year partnership between CCR and FinTech Wales, and will see the two organisations work closely together to deliver on CCR’s commitment to establish Wales as a leading FinTech sector in the UK.