Finance for the Future 2021 Conference – public services in a time of crisis

Finance for the Future 2021 Conference – public services in a time of crisis
Image of a clock with the words Finance for the Future - Dyfodol Diamod

On 16 December 2021, the Finance Skills Development Group held their 5th Finance for the Future conference, exploring the theme of Public Services in a Time of Crisis.

Albeit a little different this year due to being online, we’re delighted it ran so smoothly and feedback has been positive so far!

During the conference, we heard from many inspirational speakers from across the public sector. Alongside some remarkable stories, insights and lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic, some key themes shone through.

All our speakers reflected on the difficult two years the general public, and the public sector, have faced and the challenges it has had to overcome. We heard how important collaboration and shared learning has been in order to overcome these ongoing challenges and the need for public sector bodies to develop trusting relationships while working towards a collective purpose. Working in partnership was identified as being crucial for building a fairer, greener Wales.

The public sector is facing a challenging road ahead, with extreme budget pressures, the ongoing threat of the pandemic and the country’s recovery and climate change being just some of the issues. However, it was encouraging to hear that our speakers remain hopeful about finding innovative solutions to these problems and that there is optimism to be found in the face of adversity.

We heard about the vital part finance professionals have played – and will continue to play – in improving the public sector, with forward-planning, resourcing, efficient spending and accounting work playing a huge part in the solutions for the challenges they have faced and continue to face. In order to navigate the difficult road ahead, we heard how future finance leaders need to adapt and evolve as financial work becomes increasingly data driven.

Wellbeing was a big focus during the conference, with speakers highlighting the need for workplaces to practice empathy and openness, while retaining a sense of fun.

The Finance Skills Development Group would like to thank all of our speakers and delegates for giving up their valuable time to join our conference. We hope everyone enjoyed it as much as we did!