A financial industry base for over 200 years, Norfolk is home to major businesses within the sector. It is the birthplace of Barclays plc and the UK's largest insurer, Aviva (formerly Norwich Union). It is also home to a £3.5 million National Skills Academy for Financial Services, one of the first of its kind in the UK. Financial and business services make the largest private sector contribution to the economy of Norfolk and employ one in three of the Norwich workforce.
The Financial Industry Group (Fig) is a public/private partnership which seeks to promote and develop the financial sector in Norfolk, led by key employers Aviva, Marsh, Swiss Re and Virgin Money, together with public sector partners Norfolk County Council and Norwich City Council.
We commission targeted activities to support the industry, such as the annual student convention, which highlights the range of careers available to young people in the sector.
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Fig has hosted in Norwich, national figures with influence in the sector including the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, the FSA's Head of Industry Training, members of the Monetary Policy Committee, Director-General of the CBI and the Governor of the Bank of England.
It has continued to increase Norwich's profile and improve links with financial institutions and embassies overseas, including China, India, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and the USA.
Since its establishment in 2001 and working in partnership, notably with City College Norwich, Fig played a key role in:
- The establishment and development of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services in Norwich, worth £3.5 million.
- The creation and development of the first Foundation Degree in Financial Services in the UK which combines study, employment and both an academic and a professional qualification.
- The development of the Norwich Academy of Finance for 16 year olds, which completed a portfolio of life-long training for the sector.
- The establishment of the first School of Financial Services outside London, providing classroom support for a growing portfolio of professional qualifications to meet the local sectors' needs.
- The award to City College, Norwich of status as a Centre of Vocational Excellence in Financial Services, generating an additional £0.5 million to enhance sector training at the College.
- The creation and development of the pioneering and popular annual publication, the Norfolk Professional Institutes' Event Guide, a partnership between local professional institutes.
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