Singapore

Finance sector to develop a strong S'porean talent pipeline

One initiative is scheme that funds 80 per cent of internship stipends for undergrads at financial bodies

More measures to help develop and retain a core Singaporean workforce for the financial sector were unveiled yesterday.

One initiative is the Work-Study Support Programme that will fund 80 per cent of internship stipends, capped at $1,000 a month, for Singaporean undergraduates who serve internships at financial institutions.

The aim is to develop job-ready graduates and build a Singaporean talent pipeline for the sector.

It is part of the SkillsFuture Work-Study Degree Programme (WSDeg), which enables students to gain meaningful work experience and acquire work-relevant skills.

The financial services sector has been a major participant of the WSDeg scheme since its introduction in 2017, and the Work-Study Support Programme will help scale the programme in strategic growth areas, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) noted at a webinar yesterday.

MAS will also extend the Training Allowance Grant for company-sponsored trainees by six months from Dec 31 to June 30.

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Additional support is coming from The Institute of Banking and Finance, which will extend its 5 per cent additional course fee credit to cover the same period. The scheme aims to boost job retention through upskilling workers amid changing tasks and roles.

The Training Allowance Grant will keep up the training momentum of in-demand skills, such as technology, and in new growth areas like green finance.

MAS urged employers to continue to tap enhanced training support measures to equip locals with skills to enhance their employability.

Mr Patrick Lee, chief executive of Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore, said the new schemes complement its $5 million investment to boost talent development and accelerate digitalisation.

Ms Susan Cheong, DBS Bank's group head of talent acquisition, said the bank has partnered Nanyang Technological University to offer a 10-week internship for students in NTU's applied wealth management programme since last year.

"We eventually hired 16 of these students this year," she noted.

MAS managing director Ravi Menon said that amid the Covid-19 pandemic, job creation has moved to the front and centre of MAS' financial development agenda.

In the first half of this year, the financial sector managed to create 1,900 net jobs, all for locals, despite the pandemic.

Mr Menon urged more financial institutions to join these programmes to help build a strong talent pipeline: "Together, we can transform Singapore's financial sector workforce to be among the best globally."

Employment