Welsh Firms Collaborate in Workforce Development Hackathon

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How can the Cardiff Capital Region’s financial, legal and professional services (FLPS) businesses create a more diverse, skilled and talented workforce? That is the question that current and future leaders from six of Wales’s top FLPS businesses will be tackling next week.

The hackathon-style event, at Cardiff West Community High School, is being organised by people and business development consultants Sweetmans and Partners and is sponsored by ACCA Cymru Wales.

Participants from Acuity Law, MotoNovo Finance, Hodge Bank, Legal and General, Watkins and Gunn, and PwC, will work in teams to develop collaborative, and sector-wide ideas to create a talented, skilled and diverse future workforce in the region.

The teams will pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, featuring Caroline Thompson, CEO of BeTheSpark, Lloyd Powell, Head of principal event sponsor ACCA Cymru Wales, and Huw Morgan, Senior Non-Executive Director at the Development Bank of Wales. The winning team’s idea will then be presented to the wider FLPS employer group, convened by Sweetmans, with the hope of developing it further, and implementing it.

The FLPS group comprises 25 firms from the region who employ over 10,000 people and its priorities are to develop people and build networks, raise the sector’s profile and make a positive contribution to society. The hackathon has been one of the key outputs from the group.

To fuel their ideas, the hackathon participants will hear from Wendy Edwards, Senior Human Capital leader at PwC Wales; Frank Holmes, Managing Partner of Gambit and Chair of the Cardiff Capital Region Economic Growth Board; and Nick Batchelar, Director of Education at Cardiff Council.

Rosie Sweetman, Director of Sweetmans and Partners, explained that, following a successful pilot event last year, the buisness was keen to repeat the exercise to encourage greater collaboration across the sector:

“Last year was really a tester to see how a hackathon, which is usually associated with the tech sector, could work in the FLPS sector as a vehicle for: developing non-technical skills, building and broadening networks and shaping solutions to a challenge with business and social benefits. The event was a success and we were fortunate enough to receive a CIPD Wales award for it.”

“This year, we’re asking participants to think about how the sector can collaborate to develop a skilled, talented and diverse workforce to help it respond to the fast-changing and uncertain climate we’re all facing. The sector employs over 60,000 people in Wales, so it makes a signficant contribution to the Welsh economy. Our hope is that the winning team’s idea will provide a platform for future growth and for increasing the region’s competitiveness.”

Lloyd Powell, Head of ACCA Cymru Wales, the event’s principal sponsor, added that:

“Our research has shown that team-work, collaboration, creativity and interpersonal skills are among the vital skills for tomorrow’s financial leaders. We think the FLPS hackathon is a great vehicle for developing these skills, and for encouraging collaboration across the sector, so we’re delighted to be supporting it for the second year in a row.”