Anne-Marie Patterson and Riona Agnew from First Derivative are presented with the ‘Next Generation Initiative - Large’ Award by Ryan McAleer, business correspondent for The Irish News

First Derivative firmly committed to fostering next generation of talent

NEWRY-headquartered First Derivative, a leading managed services and consulting firm that financial institutions turn to solve their toughest operational data and technology challenges, is firmly committed to fostering the next generation of talent in Ireland.

It already employs 1,700 staff, but wants to engage with and excite everyone across the educational spectrum, from primary school pupils to graduates, especially female students and students from backgrounds not typically found in the financial services sector.

FD puts a great deal of energy and focus into building relationships with schools, colleges, and universities across the island of Ireland as well as education and business support organisations who share its values and goals.

In its application it says: “We are committed to hiring and retaining a diverse workforce that represents the global client base that we serve. We also put a great deal of focus on our brand values – discerningly daring, forward thinking, human to human – ensuring they are applied to everything that we do.

“We measure our success both quantitatively and qualitatively. We are always seeking to work with more schools, colleges and universities and attract more children and young adults into the sessions and programmes that we run.

“As one of Ireland’s largest graduate employers we focus on ensuring we continue to hire large numbers of new talent.

“We also run an employee engagement survey to ensure we understand how our colleagues are feeling at work and what we can do more (and less) of.

“We are committed to ensuring that the pioneering spirit hard-wired into our DNA is passed on to each and every employee, so they can shape both the future of the firm and their own careers.”

From its Coding for Kids, through to Secondary School outreach, its work placements and its graduate programme, this company is committed to fostering the next generation of talent in Ireland

The business has improved its next generation educational and employee initiatives to strengthen relationships in the community to attract, retain, and grow the next generation of talent.

Initiatives include its Coding for Kids and its ‘Time to Code’ partnership with Business in the Community which offers coding classes to school children. 2021 was the first year FD engaged at primary school level and the aim is to expand further in its next financial year.

The company worked with secondary schools across the Newry region, Lisburn, Banbridge and Lurgan on outreach programmes designed to offer pupils approaching school-leaving age insight into the world of work and future careers, delivering a number of programme including career insight days, CV clinics for students, work experience days and work placements.

Under its Brand Ambassador Programme, a number of students on university campus can become a ‘First Derivative Ambassador’, sharing opportunities via key societies and groups. In return, these students get a chance to build relationships with First Derivative, gain work experience and earn money with referrals.

The company also partners with several university and college careers teams to offer students the opportunity to experience ‘Life at First Derivative’. It provides interview coaching and regularly hosts ‘Insight Days’ where students get a taste of what the company has to offer.