There will be a new chair of the Jersey Finance sub-group that focuses on developing the relationship between the finance industry and the education sector as from January 2012.

Phil Austin is to step down as Chairman of Jersey Finance’s ‘Education Resource Group’ at the end of the year, having undertaken the role since its inception in 2006, when he was also Chief Executive of Jersey Finance.

During those five years, the Group has recorded a number of successes, including developing improved relationships with politicians and senior civil servants in the Education Department, delivering a schools programme that enables the finance industry to feature in the curriculum of most senior schools, and playing an important role in the design and delivery of the Plymouth University Financial Services Foundation and Honours degrees, through Highlands College.

This year alone, over 4,000 local students have been reached through one of the Group’s initiatives, with 220 member firms being involved in some capacity, between them donating over 10,000 hours of support, plus the Group helped arrange a total of 124 work placements for local students, with more than 330 students attending the School Roadshows and Seminars.

Hans Baerlocher, who has been part of the Group since it was established, will take over as Chairman in January, bringing to it a wealth of experience, educational knowledge and industry expertise. Formerly Managing Director of all UBS Operations in the Channel Islands, Hans was President of the Jersey Bankers Association between 2001 and 2003, has been a member of the executive board of Jersey Finance since May 2008 and has sat on the Board of Governors at Highlands College for six years. He retired in Spring 2010.

Commenting on his time as Chairman of the Group, Phil said:

“I have thoroughly enjoyed working with so many committed and interesting people over the past five years and feel we have made some real progress in terms of building relationships between the finance industry and education. It was a hard decision to step down but I feel the time is now right for other people to take the reins and give the Group fresh impetus.”

Geoff Cook, Chief Executive, Jersey Finance, added:

“Jersey’s finance industry is built on people of the highest quality and the education of local people is absolutely fundamental to achieving that over the long-term. Particularly in the current climate, with a tightening domestic job market and growing international competition, the work of the Education Resource Group becomes even more important.  I would like to thank Phil for his commitment and enthusiasm over the past five years and wish Hans well as he takes over Chairmanship of the Group next year.”

Ends.

For further information , please contact Adam Riddell at Crystal PR on tel. +44 (0) 1534 639505 or e-mail adam@crystalpr.co.uk