Citi Belfast doubles-down on commitment to breaking barriers to entry for financial and professional services careers

Citi Belfast have continued their mission to challenge misconceptions of careers in the financial and professional services and encourage more people from diverse backgrounds to consider careers in the sector with the recent announcement of their Citi Career Empowerment Programme.

Citi offer many diverse career pathways and routes to entry, and the newly-launched Programme is designed to continue attracting an increasingly diverse talent pool and will work to remove social inequality barriers, develop skills and improve employability.

The launch of this programme in collaboration with Belfast Met is a leap forward, engaging with the Department of Economy’s economic strategy’s three pillars of innovation, sustainability and inclusion and will equip people across Northern Ireland with the skills needed to succeed in a lifelong professional career.

Through collaboration with a range of key influencers and local stakeholders within the financial and professional services sector, and Invest NI, Citi aims to develop and implement a range of programmes to remove barriers and provide recognised skills and qualifications to reduce the high rate of economic inactivity across Northern Ireland. Citi’s Career Empowerment Programme will create a more diverse workforce, build better community relationships, and continue to solidify Citi’s reputation as an inclusive employer.

Graeme Craft, Citi Belfast CSC Business Office Manager (right) with Frank Bryan, Chair of Belfast Met Governing Body; Paul Narain, US Consul General; Louise Warde Hunter, Principal and Chief Executive Belfast Metropolitan College; US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland Joe Kennedy; and Aidan Sloane, Director of Development and Digital at Belfast Metropolitan College

The employer also took a leading active role in developing the unique Northern Ireland FinTECH and Professional Services Programme which recently launched at Belfast Met with Joe Kennedy, US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland present. The innovative programme aims to give young people not in education, training or employment the pathway to a growth industry career in a range of areas including business, digital, fintech and professional services. The programme will include project based learning placement in Citi and other partner organisations which will involve mentorship  to build confidence and soft skills which are key to employment and progression.

Commenting on the launch of the Career Empowerment Programme Leigh Meyer, Citi Belfast Site Head said: “Citi believes that everyone can belong in banking, and as the global bank’s customers continue to grow in diversity, it is crucial that our growing team reflects that diversity. The launch of our Career Empowerment Programme will ensure a wider range of voices and backgrounds are present within our workforce and reinforces our commitment to providing jobs to people here in Northern Ireland. As the only global investment bank operating in Northern Ireland, we are proud to be opening the doors for more people to live locally and work globally, supporting businesses around the world.”

“A common theme for Citi Belfast since our establishment has been that of identifying and removing barriers for entry. We offer a range of career pathways to encourage everyone to consider a career at Citi.  Our diverse programmes include apprenticeships, graduates, reactivate your career, and business academies.  We offer the training and support required for career progression and actively champion and empower our team’s growth and success by creating a culture defined by inclusion to create a vibrant working environment for all.”

Citi started its business in Belfast in 2005 with an original plan of recruiting 375 technology staff to deliver services to Citi’s global institutional clients group. Since then, Citi has grown to be Northern Ireland’s largest financial services by tapping into the deep and broad talent pool in Northern Ireland and engaging with universities and other higher learning institutions to develop a strong pipeline of talent which has facilitated the continued growth. Citi is now a strategic delivery centre for many of the bank’s 21 global functions including Legal, Compliance, HR and Markets Operations.

During the pandemic, Citi employed an additional 1,000 new people in Belfast through organic growth and internal transfers and in early 2022 announced an additional 300 jobs covering all levels, from apprentices and graduates to experienced roles. Far surpassing growth projections, Citi now employs over 4,000 members of staff over four locations in Northern Ireland. Citi’s team includes over 40 nationalities working within its local team in Northern Ireland and also benefits from five inclusion networks including: Disability, Families Matter, Multicultural, Women and Pride which champion diversity, equity and inclusion across the firm. Citi Belfast also works with external partners to create positive impact in local communities and has raised over $1million for sponsored charities in the last 5 years.

For more information on Citi’s Career Empowerment Programme visit Belfast Met‘s website.