Venture Capital Investment in FinTech: An Interactive Visualisation


In the past decade, there have been a great number of trends in the financial sector that have caused the foundations of the industry to shake and modify itself, mostly for the best.

After an uncertain period that came right after the 2008 World Financial Crisis, the financial technology sector experienced an exponential growth that rivals that of any other sector in modern history. FinTech is still on the rise today, and to visualise this data and the amount of venture capital invested in the industry, it’s certainly helpful to take an interactive look at the biggest and most influential countries and cities that make this trend more relevant than ever.

The impact of FinTech can be observed in many areas, from new job creation to banking, loaning and radical changes in consumer experience. As of this moment in history, we appear to have entered a new phase in the growth of this rapidly changing industry.

The map and graph about FinTech venture capital investment spans the years between 2008 and 2019, providing many interesting insights such as the rise of the German market and influence all over Europe. Taking the German country to be considered even more attractive than the UK, the long-time financial technology hub of Europe.

This British decline in the FinTech sector is certainly to be attributed to the uncertainty following the controversial decision to leave the EU. As the map suggest, venture capital investment has dropped significantly in 2017.

Does this mean that the UK is lacking in financial technology innovation? Not at all. Although the data on venture capital investment seems to be less-than encouraging, this drop in a specific kind of investment actually suggests a strengthening of the market, as many industries experience a drop in new capital in favour of a consolidation of already existing investors that prefer to invest more in later rounds of funding

Still, Brexit certainly plays a role in some investor’s indecision to enter the financial technology sector. A field that is still very new and little understood by old-fashioned capital holders.

Of course, the possibility of Brexit and the threat of a no-deal has caused massive concerns for start-up founders as well. There still has not been a race to get out of the UK by tech companies but some have decided to expand their reach in other European countries like Switzerland or France. Switzerland is particularly attractive for the Swiss tax policies that are generally regarded as favourable for companies of any kind.

The FinTech trend seems to be destined to keep going strong in all of Europe and the UK, yet it must be noted that some major issues remain, especially considering the possible advancement of immigration policies that could impede the transit of specialised workers from one country to the other.

Nicola Clothier is CEO of Accurity GmbH, a Swiss-based employment service provider. Nicola has an Honours degree in English Literature from Stirling University and more than 20 years’ experience in Swiss employment, and personnel leasing up to executive level throughout Europe.

Online vs. Written Practice Materials for Psychometric Test Prep


JobTestPrep’s Online Practice Materials vs. Written Practice Materials for Psychometric Test Prep

Written By: Jennifer Feldman

It is becoming increasingly more popular for employers to give graduates online psychometric tests as part of the recruitment process. The psychometric test is used to gain insight into a potential employee’s skill sets, character traits, working style, and ability to handle a workload. Gone are the days of the paper-and-pen test. With a computer-based test comes a whole new set of challenges job seekers should be aware of. Let’s take a look at a typical selection process used by some top employers.

Now that you understand what a typical selection process looks like, it’s time to discover how to best prepare. I am here to outline the five benefits of using online practice materials—online practice tests, interactive study guides, video tutorials, and online interview practice—over traditional written practice materials, i.e. books, paper practice tests, and offline courses.

  1. Why Practise Riding a Bike When You Want to Learn How to Drive a Car?

The first step of the job selection process displayed above is sending in an application online, followed by online assessments, a Skype interview, and, finally, an in-person assessment day. As a candidate, you must pass three out of six steps of the application process online before you even make it to the in-person assessment day. Once you make it to the assessment day, you will face shorter versions of the online assessments. As most of the selection process is to be tackled online, it is best to prepare with online resources.

  1. Learn How to Use the Clock to Your Benefit

Unlike the old-fashioned paper exams, when taking a computer-based exam, there is a digital timer reminding you how much time is left in the test. Here is an inside tip: most tests are not meant to be completed. Therefore, it’s okay if you do not cover all the material, nor should you let the time constraint control you. That being said, a great way to gain an advantage over other candidates is to be familiar with pacing yourself. Also helpful is learning how to use the time clock. Practising online with is the easiest way to do this. JobTestPrep enables you to practise in two different modes: Practice Mode which includes a detailed answer explanation for every question and Timed Mode which simulates the time constraints of the actual exam. Practising with the timer is a gamechanger. You can learn how to manage your time as well as increase your chances of finishing assessments. Take a look at this free practice aptitude test from JobTestPrep to understand how these features work.

  1. Get Instant Feedback

When you take online practice, you receive instant feedback whether you answered the question correctly or incorrectly. If you got a question wrong, you can learn how to solve it, right then and there, while the question is still fresh in your head. You can also get detailed score reports that track your progress. Using both score reports with explanations and test-taking hacks can save you valuable time on the actual exam. When you use traditional written materials, you are not exposed to this valuable feedback.

  1. It’s Time to Teach an Old Horse New Tricks

Unfortunately, the old strategies you used for taking a pen-and-paper exam are completely different than those needed for taking an online exam. When you take an online exam, you can’t star hard items, write yourself little notes, or skip around as easily. A common dilemma you may encounter when taking an online exam is whether you should take educated guesses on more questions or answer fewer questions more accurately. The answer is that you need to strike a balance. Overall, getting good marks on fewer questions is better than finishing the assessment and getting a poor mark.

  1. Access Up-to-Date Resources

One of the best benefits of using online resources is that obsolete materials can easily be updated. When you use a preparation book or e-book, you need to make sure it has current information.

Let the evidence speak for itself in the battle between online materials and written practice materials. My recommendation is out with the old and in with the new. Online products are the best way to prepare. Take a look at these online practice materials for:

This article was contributed by Jennifer Feldman. She is a speech and language expert and blogger at JobTestPrep. She specialises in writing about the employment hiring process.


Reasons to Hire an Immigration Consultant

Applying for a visa to live and work in another country is a daunting, often long-winded process. Many people find themselves bursting with over-confidence and feel that a simple Google search will help them fill out extremely complex or lengthy application forms.

For simple visitor visas, this may not be an issue – but for those who wish to stay in another country on a permanent or long-term basis, hiring an immigration expert to help oversee the process is highly recommended.

Read more to understand the key benefits of hiring a consultant to help handle your visa application.

Attention to detail

Just one small error on your application form can result in visa rejection, which, in turn, leads to delays and in many cases, a loss of total payment. With the costs of visas steadily increasing, it is simply not something you can afford to take risks with.

As such, hiring an expert in immigration is beneficial, since they can guide you through the application process, ensuring you fill out all aspects of the forms correctly.

Cost and time savings

Of course, hiring a consultant to help you out will incur a fee, but overall, the amount you pay could be far greater in the long run, if you were to make mistakes. Simply making a small error, like applying for the wrong type of visa or in the wrong category can delay your application for several months. Moreover, government agencies may charge you for making these minor mistakes, or can force you to repeat the entire process.

Hiring an immigration consultant who has been through the process thousands of times and has a wealth of experience will save you copious amounts of time and make the situation as hassle-free as it can be.

They can support you

If English is not your first language or you are somewhat overwhelmed by the prospect of speaking to a government official, your immigration consultant can support you and help stand up for your rights in the face of any problems.

Additionally, if your personal circumstances or the visa requirements were to change, it is your consultant’s job to keep you up-to-date and guide you through the changes necessary for a successful application.

They uphold your personal privacy

Plenty of online resources, like official governmental websites and immigration forums, are available to offer application advice and to gain insights from real people in similar situations. However, there are occasions where you might not feel comfortable asking personal questions regarding your immigration situation on public forums.

Questions which relate to your family life, employment status, criminal record or medical conditions are highly personal and require privacy. Immigration experts have a duty to keep the information their clients give them confidential.

They can help with an appeal

If you have submitted a visa application which has resulted in an official refusal, your consultant can help you with the appeals process, ensuring your case is properly overseen.

Immigration consultants offer a total peace of mind throughout the often daunting process of applying for visas and moving to another country. Not only do they save applicants time and money, but they are there to support clients from start to finish, all whilst upholding important privacy values.

This article was contributed by First Migration, a UK visa consultant which specialises in immigration to UK for all types of applicants.

Zero-hours contracts: The end of a secure working day?

zero hour contract

Zero, it’s a number that can be good or bad but so called “zero-hours” contracts have grown in popularity recently. The contract is basically a way for companies to employ people on an on-demand basis, for example that the employees gets called in whenever they are needed. For a long time, these have been accepted as a good way to get people into employment, even if it is just small amounts of money. On the other hand, Andy Burnham has called for a promise that if the Labour Party were to get into power, they would ban this type of employment.

In my opinion, there is no problem in doing Continue reading

Central Tyre Macclesfield – Scam merchants

Don’t you hate it when car dealers rip you off?

I have just taken delivery of my car. It needed new brakes. Normally an easy thing to fix, but Central Tyre in Macclesfield claim that it took them 14 hours to change 4 brakes. This is on a modern car where you can clip things in and out. Yeah right……
When I asked them to quote, they mumbled something like twothirty, which I understood to be two hundred and thirty. Turns out they meant two thousand three hundred. Should really have got it in writing, but I used them once before and I trusted them.

As the saying goes, don’t trust car salesmen……..

Graduates Struggling for Internships, Let Alone Jobs

JobWantedAt a time when there is a lack of graduate jobs, students are becoming increasingly competitive in the job market. University placements have dramatically risen in the UK since the early 1990s and a result, the competition for graduate level jobs is fiercer than ever. To make matters worse, twice as many graduates are achieving first class or 2:1 degrees now than they were ten years ago.

It has always been common practice to attempt to gain experience in order to secure a job and internships have traditionally been an asset for all students. However, as unemployment rises and as we head for a bleak double-dip recession, employers have gained a far more powerful position over their employees. Continue reading

Employment law rights for apprentices in the EU

Apprenticeships are becoming increasingly popular according to new government figures released last week, which showed an increase of 50,000 apprentice jobs compared to the previous academic year. With apprenticeships growing in popularity, it is more important than ever for apprentices to know their employment rights.

Apprenticeships are work-place training posts, which allow you Continue reading

Working abroad: Know your employment law rights

The news that unemployment in the UK remains at a high level and looks set to stay high for the foreseeable future has sent a shiver down the spines of many currently looking for work. The situation is even more acute in the 16-24-year old age group, where one in five is currently out of work.

Amidst the bleak economic outlook UK citizens are increasingly looking abroad for opportunities to work and gain experience. The UK’s legal status with the EU means that UK citizens are free to move to any EU member state to work and live, something that more and more seem to be attracted towards.

Understanding EU employment law

European member states enjoy considerable diversity when it comes to employment law, with each country entitled to implement its own spin on workers rights.

That said, there are some employment laws and rights that have been created by the EU and therefore apply across all member states. Important examples of employment law areas where EU law applies to all member states include:

  • Rights not to be discriminated against at work on the grounds of race, religion, gender, age, disability status or sexual orientation
  • Rights for women and men to be treated equally when accessing employment and training and in working conditions and pay
  • Rights to a maximum number of hours in a working week
  • Rights to an employment contract within two months of starting work
  • Rights to maintain your employment terms and conditions if your employer is taken over by another business
  • Rights to maternity and paternity leave
  • Rights to have your personal and private data protected

However it is worth noting that each EU member state has autonomy over the way EU law is implemented within their territory and therefore you will find variations in the way these rights are enforced from state to state.

A good example of this is the implementation of equality law in Germany, where freelancers and consultants are not entitled to benefit from anti-discrimination law, and where discrimination on the basis of age is lawful in some circumstances. As a result of these national variations, it is important for anyone considering working abroad to take legal advice on the employment law in whichever state they intend to work in.

National variations

Outside of the standard EU laws each member state is free to determine the level of employment law protection afforded to its workforce. The national variations can be quite subtle but no less important. For example in Spain, employment roles are categorised, with each category subjected to a different set of laws known as the ‘convenio colectivo’. Pay is divided into 14 payments, one per month plus two extra, one in July and one in December. Employees are entitled in Spain to time off for marriage, the birth of a child or the death of a family member.

Rights to a national minimum wage are not set EU-wide, and you will therefore find considerable variation between member states. For example Germany, Italy and Sweden have no national minimum wage law. Many EU countries do offer a minimum wage, but there is also variation with the amount, with Spain offering just €4.26 whilst Luxembourg offers employees €10.41.

This Eurojobs article was provided by 

Positive Aspects Of Using A Recruitment Agency?

Recruitment agencies are increasingly becoming the effective way to source top quality employees for your company with very little time and effort. Using the right agency will ensure that you find the ideal individuals to join your team. There are several different benefits of this form of recruiting, regardless of the role that you want to fill.

Employing a top quality recruitment agency will ensure that you find the perfect match for the position that you’re offering. Whether you’ll need someone for engineering jobs, service employees or managers the extensive network of contacts will supply the best employees. You will be amazed the number of different resources the recruitment agencies will use to ensure they match your requirements.

The agency that you choose will be able to invest the time and effort into finding you the perfect candidate for your employment opportunity. You will have the job filled far quicker than if you conducted other ways of hiring. The hiring agencies can limit the list of potential workers far quicker than you.

Employing the correct individuals to work in your team is important to guarantee that your company continues to run effectively. Some people are simply no good at choosing the right employees; therefore, employing an agency will make the hiring process much easier. You’ll be given ideal candidates, making sure you do not waste your time and effort on people that simply wouldn’t fit in to your team.

The recruitment agencies will be able to follow your company recommendations, and ensure they get the best, high caliber employees for the position. Regardless of whether you’ll need engineering jobs filled, or part-time waiters, your company will be catered for professionally. Those who join the agency looking for work will have to supply a large amount of information.

This information will enable the recruitment agencies to place the right people with the perfect employers. Both parties will be happy with the choice, and ensure that the career path is long and successful. Every component of the applicants cv will be checked by the recruitment agencies, making sure you can go ahead and interview individuals.

The need for further training can often be avoided as the agency will only send you people who they feel would be appropriate for the job. This will save you time, effort and money, and definately will ensure that your new employee can start immediately. It may seem that employing recruitment agencies, is merely for large companies.

However, every business, no matter their dimensions can benefit from using the expertise and data of these agencies. The charges that you will have to pay are reasonable, and will ensure that all of the hard work is completed for you in advance. Once you have used a reliable recruitment agency, you will notice that you turn to them each and every time you are seeking new employees.

The Advantages Of Employing A Recruitment Agency

If you are looking for work in your industry, such as engineering jobs, you might have already suffered the irritation of looking in a newspaper. Maybe you’ve looked in a trade magazine. Perhaps you’ve used one of the many specialist job boards. If you’re tired of constantly chasing jobs, perhaps now it’s time you perform your job search with the aid of recruitment agencies.

Recruitment agencies do all of the employment legwork on the part of their clients. They have connections to employment clients who are searching for a certain kind of employment prospect. Rather than putting things off filling out random job applications, on employment websites and networking opportunities, the recruiter will push an employment prospect directly to the best type of company. Concurrently, recruiters steer the best type of employment prospects toward employers who have specific job needs. Recruiters act as the liaison between job clients and work prospects to ensure the right employment fit for both parties.

Recruitment agencies will also be privy to more employment opportunities. While specific employment positions may appear on an employment website or in a paper, the recruiting agency should have far more information than these forms of employment media. Not only this, but many companies might insist that they only hire work candidates through agencies.

This is because agencies perform such a wonderful job of screening and vetting the candidates. Not only will a recruiting agency perform work reference inspections but in many instances, the company will even perform a background check along with a drug-screen check. Many will even perform a credit check with respect to the employer as well. This enables only top work candidates to be considered for an employer’s interview process.

Using a recruiting agency to seek out work is a good idea. While some companies might post an employment opening in the newspapers or on an employment job board, they frequently do this to satisfy their human resource requirements. Which means that it is common for workers to never get hired through the newspapers, or through the online job boards.

On most occasions, a company might already have their candidate selected, however they could be legally required to post an open employment ad towards the general public. In situations like these, the business has generally found their prospect by using a recruiting agency. To put it simply, recruitment agencies open doors that are usually shut firmly to everyone else.

Again, if you are tired of the seemingly endless days and nights of looking for employment, and if you’re worried that your financial and career future is in danger, speak to a recruiting agency right away! The right recruiting agencies may use their connections to finish your unemployment headache as quickly as possible.