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Sustainable Finance Skillnet Deep Dive Skills Report

Deep sector analysis of future Sustainable Finance skills and talent requirements in Ireland 

The Sustainable Finance Skillnet Deep Dive Skills Report, commissioned by the Sustainable Finance Skillnet Ireland and Sustainable Nation Ireland, and researched by Deloitte, says this rapid shift in required skillsets will require integration of sustainability and ESG modules into all third level finance degree and masters programmes and professional finance qualifications.

Sustainable Finance – from niche to mainstream

The report finds that Sustainable Finance is quickly becoming mainstream and will fundamentally change the entire financial sector, with regulation acting as an accelerator in prioritising skills and training. It adds that Sustainable Finance is not a short-term trend, but a permanent shift from ‘niche’ to ‘mainstream’ representing an entirely new focus in finance. It recommends that, in addition to changes to third level programmes, Sustainable Finance must be part of professional education and continuous professional development for finance and business professionals.

The study, an output of the Government’s “Ireland for Finance” strategy, found a higher level of overall Sustainable Finance awareness and perception in the asset management sub-sector than in banking insurance and fund services.

  • 60 percent of respondents told Deloitte that companies would give training and skills development a higher priority if regulation is implemented
  • 67 percent said there is demand for Sustainable Finance skills and talent within their organisations but supply is inadequate and upskilling is required.

Skills required

The report identifies the most important drivers of investment in Sustainable Finance skills and talent between 2019 and 2025 as improved long-term returns; brand image and reputation; decreased investment risk and/or underwriting risk; regulatory/disclosure demands; and external stakeholder requirement (e.g. clients, government, society at large).

It notes that training in baseline knowledge is the key short-term skills priority, while the main challenges limiting the development of Sustainable Finance skills and talent in Ireland are competing internal priorities and lack of available talent, and there is significant demand for skills in data management and measurement.

All respondents said that stakeholder expectations of Sustainable Finance have grown since 2015 and will continue to grow out to 2025.

  • 67 percent said they expect experienced hires for Sustainable Finance will be required within their organisations
  • 87 percent said they expect that existing employees will be upskilled with respect to Sustainable Finance Investment within their organisations.

 

The report was launched Friday, November 8 at AIB HQ, 10 Molesworth Street, Dublin 2, as part of Climate Finance Week Ireland 2019.

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