Fast Track into Financial Services is an award-winning six-week work-readiness course developed for HNC/HND/Degree-level graduates progressing a career in Scotland’s financial services sector and is the result of a partnership project involving Scottish Financial Enterprise (SFE) members, learning providers and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).   

The programme is co-designed and co-delivered with financial services companies – representing an agile response to the industry’s recruitment needs and provides participants a good foundation to secure future employment. 

On completion, learners receive an SCQF Level 7 qualification, jointly awarded by SFE, SQA and SDS.  In Autumn 2019 Fast Track won the Scottish Financial Services Pioneer Award  

The curriculum focus is centred around four main modules (Environment, Culture, Risk and Skills) and prepares participants for customer services and operations roles.  Fast Track follows a common curriculum but there is content flexibility to reflect the regional nature of in-demand roles. 

The course is currently run by the City of Glasgow and Edinburgh Colleges and co-delivered with industry partners including BNP Paribas, Lloyds Banking Group, Barclays, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC, Morgan Stanley, Tesco Bank, TSB and Sainsbury’s Bank.   

Fast Track 2020 courses

The next Fast Track courses will start on 30 November 2020.

  • City of Glasgow College – register your interest here.
  • City of Edinburgh College – register your interest here.

About You 

You may be an unemployed HND/Degree graduate or currently working but need more experience and support to secure a role in financial services successfully; or you are affected by redundancy in a sector where you have developed customer services and operational skills – such as tourism, travel, food retail or hospitality – which can be complemented with an immersive course for financial services.  

Course content  

The curriculum reflects the skills and behaviours identified by employers as important skillsets for customer facing roles – meaning you will be building a solid foundation for your future career.  

Delivered over four days per week for six weeks, Fast Track is intensive for learners and demands a high degree of self-study. It is important that you appropriately assess that you have the resource, time and commitment to successfully complete the programme. 


Are there vacancies in financial services? 

Customer services and operations roles continue to be one of the three identified in-demand job families in the industry.  The latest evidence shows that retail banks are expected to need an increase in workforce to undertake important customer-facing roles in the next six months.    

What’s the eligibility criteria for Fast Track? 

  • to be eligible to work in the UK; 
  • have achieved a qualification at SCQF level 7 or above such as HNC, HND or Degree 
  • photo identification such as a passport or driving license 
  • to access the course, you’ll need access to a laptop/computer and the internet 

What do I need to do before applying?  

  • Take time to consider whether a career in financial services is the right one for you   
  • Applicants complete a Self-Declaration Form (which reflects key pre-employment screening criteria necessary to secure employment in financial services).   

Apply to Fast Track  

What does it cost?  

The course is offered free of charge for all learners.  If you are a benefits claimant, please speak to your Job Coach regarding your eligibility. 

Will I physically attend the course? 

Given the restrictions relating to COVID-19, Fast Track is moving to a blended online interactive course with staff, industry experts and participants accessing the course from home.    

Along with notes, remote collaboration tools, suggestions for self-learning, and opportunities to have one to ones and group sessions with experienced tutors and industry experts, participants must be fully equipped for a virtual classroom experience.  

Is the course academically recognised? 

Yes.  Fast Track is a customised award which has been credit-rated on the SCQF (Level 7) by SQA. This award is certificated, and quality assured by SQA. 

Securing future employment  

Future job offers will be subject to a screening check by your future employer. Please note that these checks can be intensive and are referred to as Pre-Employment Screening, Compliance and/or Background Checks.  They are typically undertaken at offer stage and conducted by the company or its agent.   

As part of Fast Track, there is support through tutors, industry and recruitment consultants to support your CV and behavioural/competency-based interview preparation. Online tools and guides also form part of the course.  

Fast Track is focussed in supporting you to secure an interview and enter a new career in financial services. 

What do recent participants of Fast Track say? 

Euan Sheridan, 28, who is now performing a Community Banking Premier role with Barclays, the work-readiness course was the perfect preparation for starting his financial services career:   

“The Fast Track to Financial Services course helped with developing the soft skills required to work in a bank as a whole.  Understanding the basics of how a bank operates and its importance to customers has been very helpful indeed.”