Favoriser l’excellence

Encouraging Excellence

The Geneva Financial Center (GFC) believes that access to highly skilled employees is a central requirement for a competitive financial center. The Foundation consequently supports educational initiatives ranging from apprenticeships to fundamental research, as well as professional and continuing education.

Favoriser l’excellence

The GFC maintains a close working relationship with the Department of Education (DIP) and banks that offer apprenticeship programmes, in order to identify their needs and provide adequate responses via its Banking Skills Strategic Committee.

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Cartes de formation

Documentation only in French
Le secteur financier offre un univers varié et de multiples opportunités professionnelles. Il n’est pas toujours facile de choisir la filière de formation correspondant à ses envies et au métier envisagé. Afin d’offrir une vision plus claire, la FGPF publie des cartes de formation, selon les thématiques suivantes :


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Continuing education: active career management

Employees in the banking sector are highly employable. In other words they are able to find a new job, make their own way in the labour market, hold down a position and progress in their careers. In fact, employability largely depends on continuing lifelong education.

According to the Barometer of opportunities and concerns conducted by Employeurs Banques, the bank employers’ association, the main concerns of employees in 2021 were the increased specialisation of the banking professions, the complexity of regulation and the employability of older staff. In relation to the age profile, those in the 55 to 64 age group rose from 10% in 2009 to 15% of the total in 2020. One specialisation that is in demand in the financial sector is sustainable finance, as this subject pathway has now become an integral part of investment strategies.

In order promote learning and knowledge transfer within the Swiss financial sector, the Swiss Bankers Association launched the "Swiss Banking Academy" in January 2023, which proposes a wide range of webinars and specialised seminars on fundamentals and hot topics in banking. The content is based on sharing experiences and is strongly geared to being useful in practice. The Swiss Banking Academy is available to all staff of banks in Switzerland and the Swiss financial centre in general.

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How does sustainable finance fit into training & education?

In order to accelerate the banking sector's transition towards sustainability, finance and sustainable development must be integrated into professional, continuing and academic education. Yves Mirabaud, President of the GFC, explains in "Le Temps" that this is a sine qua non condition for the Geneva financial centre to remain equal to the challenges and expectations of its clients in this area.

Geneva already benefits from a remarkable offer. In connection with apprenticeship, a major reform came into force in August 2023. The new basic commercial training better integrates the key topic of sustainable development.

In the area of continuing education, the Haute école de gestion de Genève (HEG), in partnership with SSF, and the Institut Supérieur de Formation Bancaire (ISFB) offer certified continuing education courses in sustainable finance. In the field of wealth management, the SAQ CWMA certification, which was introduced in 2017 and represents the benchmark in the industry, has strengthened the sustainability requirements since 2022.

Academic education is not immune to the green wave. In Geneva, the University is committed to this movement with several "Certificate of advanced studies (CAS)" and Masters dedicated to sustainable finance. Finally, the Graduate Institute also aims to train specialists in sustainable finance through a Master in sustainable finance.

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Initiatives by the GFC to develop apprenticeships and links with the Office for Vocational and Continuing Education (OFPC)

The Geneva Financial Center encourages and assists banks in their efforts to train young people and aims to improve the image of the apprenticeship track, which is one of the keys to the success of the Swiss economy. The website monparcours.ch is dedicated to initial training and allows you to have an overview of initial training in Geneva and to define your path.

The apprenciceship track is still the preferred choice for young people undertaking upper-secondary level education and training in Switzerland. In 2020, 66% of these young people are in the first year of a vocational training course leading to a qualification. Unfortunately, Geneva and Vaud are the only cantons where the majority of students start general education (Collège, Ecole de culture générale) at upper secondary level.

Apprenticeships are an important point of entry into the banking world: more than 90% of apprenticeships lead to a permanent job. However, several factors tend to impede the creation of apprenticeship positions, such as the size of the institution or its infrastructure, as well as the investment in terms of time and human resources. To encourage the creation of more positions in the sector, one solution would be to make the criteria more flexible and simplify the administrative procedures for institutions that wish to take on an apprentice.

The GFC liaises between the financial industry and the cantonal government to encourage measures to facilitate the creation of apprenticeships, by working closely with the Department of Education and the OFPC.

Since 2016, the GFC has initiated presentations of careers in banking to secondary schools. Working closely with "Go Apprentissage", a pilot program funded by the Federal Government and supported by professional training partners, representatives from several Geneva banks meet years 10 and 11 students from "Cycles d'orientation". This initiative aims to encourage students to choose an apprenticeship by introducing them to the range of banking professions and giving them the opportunity to interact with apprenties.

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Support for the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI)

The GFC supports the Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), a multidisciplinary institute attached to the University of Geneva which focuses on research and education in finance. It sponsors in particular a year-long "Finance Seminar Series".

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Participation in the Board of the Institute for Studies in Finance and Banking (ISFB)

For over 30 years, the ISFB has played a central role in developing essential skills that ensure the Geneva financial center remains competitive. The Geneva Financial Center plays an active part in this process with Christian Skaanild as Chairman and Nicolas Krügle as Vice-Chairman of the ISFB. Jean-François Beausoleil, Hervé Broch and Edouard Cuendet, Director of the GFC, are also board members of the ISFB.

Geneva Financial Center