An interview with Josée Thyes, Senior Programme Manager, House of Training
Josée Thyes is Senior Programme Manager at the House of Training. After starting her career in the banking sector, she helped to set up the “Agence de Transfert de Technologie Financière” (ATTF) and joined it in October 1999. She co-managed the ATTF during 16 years. In November 2015, ATTF became part of the House of Training, which was created from the merger between LSC (the Luxembourg School of Commerce), IFBL (the Luxembourg Institute for Training in Banking) and ATTF to offer continuing vocational training to businesses and private individuals in various sectors and market industries.
What are your current responsibilities and what is a working day at the House of Training like?
I am Senior Programme Manager within the Programme Management Department. As of beginning April, I oversee our training offer in the human capital management (human resources, personal development, management, coaching), corporate social responsibility, construction and industry sector. Alongside this, I continue to handle Microfinance, SME financing and Corporate Governance programmes that I originally managed when at ATTF.
In concrete terms, the programme manager is the interface between the experts/trainers/external partners/House of Training Quality Circles, developing the content and the customer. On one hand it means designing programmes together with the experts, recruiting the trainers while also providing quality control. On the other, it means setting up certified recurrent training and creating various training paths. We also develop ad hoc training programmes.
How is the House of Training involved in inclusive finance?
The House of Training is a member of InFiNe.lu where its CEO, Nico Binsfeld, is on the Board of Directors. The Public and Institutional Customers Department together with the Programme Management Department of the House of Training manages the ‘Risk Management in leading Microfinance Institutions’ project initially launched by ATTF with backing from NGO, ADA. As part of this project, once a year we organise a week-long risk management training in Luxembourg for high level executives of leading microfinance institutions (MFIs) established in developing and emerging countries. The training contents are created in collaboration with ALRiM (Luxembourg Association for Risk Management). In follow-up to this training, MFIs are able to request personalised coaching with a Luxemburgish risk management expert. This project has been in place since 2008 and has allowed many MFIs to integrate risk management strategies into their activity at an operational level. A publication covering the outcomes of this project will be released shortly.
What is your key interest in inclusive finance?
I have always had a personal interest in inclusive finance and microfinance. I truly believe that inclusive finance has and will continue to have an impact on the flight against poverty. The methodology developed in the inclusive finance sector, and the products and services have proven to be effective.
For you, is inclusive finance a passion, job or learning experience?
I am passionate about inclusive finance. I try to attend conferences that are held in Luxemburg, such as the Midis de la microfinance et de l’inclusion financière. I am particularly interested in inclusive finance on a professional level, which means I have kept these concerns as part of my programme management portfolio. Inclusive finance is also a source of learning. I have learned a great deal about the sector via the risk management training project for leading MFIs. With this project, ATTF (now House of Training) has shown that with a small budget it is possible to have a positive and consequent impact in supporting MFIs. As the ownership of the follow-up lies with the MFI, the latter will invest a lot of time in the project. This coaching method has proven to be very effective and will be used in the future to other programmes.
What is the biggest project you are currently handling?
As I took up lately the above mentioned programme portfolio, I will have to get to know these domains more in depth and make them evolve so that they remain adequate to the market needs. It is a fascinating challenge.
InFiNe.lu is the Luxembourg platform that brings together public, private and civil society actors involved in inclusive finance. The value of InFiNe.lu lies in the wide range of expertise characterised by the diversity of its members.
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Picture 1 © Pallab Seth