ESF Priority 2: Welsh Financial Sector Graduate Programme

Feb 28, 2022

Fast Track Data/AI Graduate Programme

The Fast Track Data/AI Graduate Programme is a partnership between leading Welsh businesses and academics led by the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, made possible thanks to part-funding received from the European Social Fund through the Welsh Government

Today, businesses operating in every sector across the globe have recognised the necessity of unlocking the potential of big data and artificial intelligence (AI). Wales and the wider UK are no exception, with many experts highlighting the fact that recruitment demand far outstrips supply of individuals with those specific expert skillsets.

In its first year, the Data/AI Programme enabled 100% of its graduates to secure permanent roles in data science and analytics, with the majority remaining in Wales to accelerate the ability for businesses in multiple industries to harness the power of data.

This year’s cohort will see 14 graduates take part in the Programme’s bespoke two-week bootcamp before starting their careers with some of Wales’ most recognisable brands, including Admiral, Atradius, Empirysis, Principality Building Society, Hodge Bank, Opel Vauxhall Finance, Pepper Money and

In addition to gaining access to individuals who can apply the latest knowledge in AI & data to their companies, partner employers also benefit from the full support of the Programme’s expert team and wider network within the financial services and data industry.

The Programme has been recognised by the judges of the Fintech Awards Wales, who in 2021 presented the Welsh Contact Centre Forum with the award for Best Academic Programme Supporting FinTech and Financial Service Companies.

Building on its success, the Programme has now been extended to a ten-month curriculum to allow graduates to deeper embed themselves into the teams of the employers they have been matched with.

In addition to starting their careers with leading employers, the Programme also ensures its graduates stay at the forefront of developments in AI, data analytics, and emerging technologies, via a bespoke post-graduate diploma delivered by the University of South Wales.

Sandra Busby, Managing Director of the Welsh Contact Centre Forum, said:

“This Programme exists to ensure Welsh businesses have the ability to meet today’s unprecedented demand. By bringing together our employer partners with academic experts from the University of South Wales, we have been able to create a programme that responds to employers’ specific needs and allow them to recruit from a handpicked STEM graduate talent pool. The fact that the European funding will no longer be available from 2023 is a concern. And as the Programme’s lead, we are actively exploring options to protect and ensure this invaluable resource remains available to Welsh businesses.”

To get involved, please contact Programme Manager, Rowena Morgan or visit .