WHAT IS THE SECTOR ALL ABOUT?
The Financial and Related Services sector is critical to both the UK and Essex Economy. In 2016, it accounted for 12% of the total UK economic output and employed 2.2m people, two-thirds of whom are employed outside of London.
Did you know there were more than 11,000 job postings for roles in this sector in 2016! Remember, every organisation requires financial support, so you could work in a range of sectors through a career in finance and insurance!
WHAT TYPE OF JOBS ARE THERE?
The London-Essex UK Finance Corridor is an intrinsic extension of London's world-leading Financial and Professional Services cluster. The Corridor includes the main Essex financial and professional services centres of Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester, Basildon and Southend-on-Sea. This range of organisation means the types of opportunities are vast!
There are hundreds of different jobs available across the sector. We have outlined a few below but you can find more by downloading our sector fact sheet or by visiting sites like The Institute of Chartered Accountants, The National Careers Service and The Chartered Insurance Institute
An Auditor can work both internally and externally. As an external auditor, you will independently review a company’s accounts to make sure they are accurate. This role is also required within the public sector to review how public money is spent and whether any savings can be made. As an internal auditor, you will examine your organisation’s policies and procedures or finances to look at ways to improve them or make the organisation more efficient.
There are no set entry requirements but you will need to have good organisational skills and an eye for detail! A Bookkeeper keeps financial records up to date and helps to prepare accounts. This role offers flexibility as you could work in-house or become self-employed. Core duties would include completing VAT returns, handling sensitive data and dealing with sales invoices, income, receipts and payments.
Job roles could be based in any UK organisation that sells financial products or for a specialist investment or pension consultancy. With people living longer, it is crucial their money works for them into retirement! Day-to-day tasks could include researching products and explaining them clearly and simply, keeping up to date with law changes, engaging with customers about their finances and plans
As an insurance underwriter, you would decide whether to insure a person or company and set out the details of the policies. Daily tasks could include calculating insurance premiums and assessing risk (likelihood of a pay-out), writing policies and negotiating terms with brokers or clients. With experience, you could move into risk management or loss adjusting and claims management.
Management Accountants look after a company's finances and find ways to improve profitability. You will experience to move into this role and have completed training with a professional accountancy body. You would work in-house for almost any type of organisation! Roles would include monitoring spending and budgets, making business decisions, preparing company reports and forecasting budgets.
The way people engage with the sector is changing, from mobile apps to online banking, as a result there is a growing need for IT and Cyber Security skills within the sector. Have a look at Cyber Security Challenge for more information on careers in Cyber Security.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO THE SECTOR?
Now that you have got taste for what the industry is about, why not download our careers fact sheet or head over to The National Careers Service where you can find out information about more careers.
There are loads of ways to get into this sector from taking an apprenticeship, going to University or even switch from an existing career, for example a para-planner, customer service, sales or administration background. Many employers will provide in-house training.