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Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy celebrates first decade

The Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy (GBPSA) celebrated its tenth anniversary on Wednesday 7th June 2023 with a special event at Deloitte. Nearly £4million, in equivalent billable hours, has been invested in the Academy by partners through in kind support from partners.

The Greater Birmingham Professional Services Academy (GBPSA) celebrated its tenth anniversary on Wednesday 7th June 2023 with a special event at Deloitte. Nearly £4million, in equivalent billable hours, has been invested in the Academy by partners through in kind support from partners.

The GBPSA, part of Birmingham Metropolitan College (BMet), was created in 2013 as a direct response to recommendations in ‘Choose Work, Choose Life, Choose Birmingham’, the report of the Future Commission, published by Birmingham Future and Warwick Business School, on growth and sustainability of

Birmingham’s business, professional and financial services (BPFS) sector.

The report’s first recommendation was the creation of a ‘management academy to provide an environment to nurture and develop talented young professionals.’ The Future Commission suggested the BFPS sector needed to cast its net more widely for talent beyond traditional higher education routes if it was to sustain future growth.

The report went further to suggest that young people from socially diverse and harder-to-reach communities should be informed, engaged and ultimately skilled to take up significant opportunities being created in the region.

Ten years later GBPSA remains the only educational establishment of its kind in the UK.

At this evening’s event, staff, partners, current students and alumni will gather to celebrate the

achievements of the Academy which include:

  • 700 students have passed through the doors of the Academy
  • 50 professional services firms have engaged with and supported the Academy
  • 200 professionals from the sector have given their time and engaged in the activities of the Academy
  • 500 work experience opportunities have been created
  • 3,000 hours of workshops have been delivered
  • 300 mentoring relationships created
  • 8 core partners have provided strategic direction.

Although the core objective of GBPSA remains, the skills needs and range of opportunities within the BFPS sector are developing at a significant rate. As GBPSA embarks on its next decade, it is particularly well placed to embrace the opportunities from advances in FinTech, PropTech and LawTech.

Suzie Branch-Haddow, who was founding director of the Academy and now Vice Principal (External

Development) at BMet, commented:

“It is hard to believe that the tenth anniversary of the Academy is upon us. Like many sectors the past decade has seen wonderful opportunities but also great challenges, particularly in recent years. “However, the core principle and focus of the Academy identifying, nurturing, inspiring and skilling young people for the myriad of employment opportunities that exist within the region’s BFPS sector remains a constant.

“What is vital now, as we enter our second decade, is to refocus our energies and experience on developing the knowledge, understanding and the skills that will be needed in the coming years most notably around the advances in technology. 

We will play our part in engaging and working with professional firms to support the development of those skills so our young people can embrace the fantastic opportunities.”

Chair of GBPSA and Head of Talent, Development and D&I at BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Vicky Docker, is confident that the Academy will play a vital role in the next decade:

“What has always been impressive about GBPSA is the commitment to engaging young people, often from socially diverse communities, to consider and prepare themselves for a career in the BPFS sector. The diverse population of the region and some of the social barriers that exist can result in employment opportunities not being obvious or easy to find.

“GBPSA helps young people overcome barriers and navigate the opportunities, whether through its mentoring scheme, work experience placements or workshops.

“I have seen first hand the transformative way GBPSA changes lives and I look forward to continuing to work with the Academy in the future.

“Tonight will be about celebrating the tenth anniversary and achievements of GBPSA. Tomorrow will be about starting the next phase in GBPSA’s vital role in untapping local talent. It is incumbent on all of us in the BPFS sector to engage with and support the vital work being undertaken by the Academy.”

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