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How to Enter the Finance Sector in Channel Islands #CareerShapeUp - III

  • Publish Date: Posted 19 February 2016
  • Author: AP Group

As part of our "Get Your Career Into Shape!" campaign, we've been sharing career and job search related tips and advices throughout February. This article is third in the #CareerShapeUp series.

With an international reputation as a leading offshore financial centre, the Channel Islands, comprising of Jersey and Guernsey, offer numerous opportunities for an exciting career in the world of finance and banking. Whether you are a school-leaver or a recent graduate, you can break into the finance sector, provided you are well informed on the industry and possess the required skills. Read on to find out how to kick start your career in the financial services sector.

As a key driver of the islands' economy, the finance sector is highly advanced and diversified, offering young professionals more alternatives to secure a role that is a good fit for them. But the key to entering this competitive industry lies in knowing how to go about it. While a finance degree, typically in finance/banking/accounting/economics/MBA, is a major plus, there are also other options available for both financial graduates and school leavers to get into a career in the financial sector. 

Here are five ways to help you go down your chosen career path.

1) Training Pogrammes

Both Jersey and Guernsey governments offer various tailored training rogrammes for school leavers and recent graduates. During the programme, you will get the chance to work across all divisions, gaining relevant exposure to a variety of roles and developing industry-specific skills. Although getting through the training schemes can be difficult, the chances of fetching a permanent offer on the completion of the programme are high. 

For more information on these programmes, click on the links below:

Graduate Development Programme - Guernsey

Training programmes - Jersey financial service commission

Careers Jersey's 'AdvancePlus for Finance' scheme

2) Temping

It goes without saying that finance graduates are highly sought after in the job market, given the complex nature of the job. However, the need to demonstrate a deep understanding of the finance market as well as relevant employable skills is a prerequisite. Temporary or entry-level contract work can get your foot in the door. Through temping, you will get a taste of different company cultures, gain hands-on experience and enhance your skills. There is also a fair chance of your temp work being converted into a permanent role at the end of the contract.

But to make the most of your temping gig, you need to land a temp work that is relevant to your education or your career goals. Whatever your niche and ambition, specialist recruitment agencies can match you with the right job within the finance sector in Jersey/Guernsey.

3) Networking

If you are considering a career in the finance sector, networking is the key. It can not only help you tap into hidden opportunities, but also expand your
contact base - some of them may turn out to be your potential clients in your next job. Networking with recruiters is also helpful, as most of the smaller firms rely on recruitment agencies to fill in their vacancies.

There are several high-profile events, seminars, conferences and workshops going all year round on the island, offering potential job seekers plenty of
opportunities to network with leading industry experts.

Keep an eye on the following websites for regular updates on any industry events.

Guernsey Investment FundAssociation

Guernsey InternationalFinancial Centre

Jersey Finance

4)  Professional Course

If you don't have a degree in finance, undertaking a professional qualification can give you an edge over your peers. For a career in trusts, the ICSA or STEP qualification holds significant academic value. Similarly, candidates considering an accounting career can go for ACCA/ACA/CIMA qualification. These courses are intensive and flexible, preparing you for a rewarding career in finance. 

5)    Volunteering/internship 

It is always a good idea to do internship(s) while you're pursuing your bachelor's degree. Even if your first internship is unpaid, it is wise to take on the opportunity - No relevant work experience is a disadvantage. Students with internship experience on their CV are more likely to fetch a full-time position upon graduation. 

Since getting an internship can be very difficult for someone without any academic qualification in finance, taking up a volunteering opportunity with any local firm is also beneficial. 

The current job market in the Channel Islands is favourable for young professionals looking for a long-term career in the finance sector. If you are proactive, ambitious, motivated and posses the required industry skills and knowledge, you can make a mark as finance professional.

As a specialist recruitment agency with over 25 years of experience, our team of expert consultants at AP Personnel is uniquely placed to assist you in getting your first break into the finance sector in the Channel Islands. With our extensive experience and local market knowledge, we cover all areas of the finance sector, including banking, trust and fund management, fiduciary, accounting, compliance and legal. 

Get in touch with us for temp/contract or permanent placement in the finance sector.