Skilled Workforce

The financial sector employs about 5% of the total workforce in Singapore and accounts for over 12% of the country's Gross Domestic Product (as at end 2014).

The availability of a large pool of finance professionals in Singapore is a key reason why global financial institutions operate here, and use Singapore as a regional or global hub. We continue to attract top talent and expertise from overseas. At the same time, we work with the industry to put in place a comprehensive range of training programmes to enhance the competencies of financial sector professionals and to strengthen the local talent pipeline of finance professionals and leaders.

Singapore’s labour regulations and workforce have consistently been rated highly by leading international organisations such as the World Economic Forum and Washington-based risk consultancy agency, Business Environment Risk Intelligence (BERI).


Singapore’s cost effective environment and robust and reliable infrastructure has earned the following recognition from international organisations:

  • Top position in BERI's Labour Force Evaluation Measure
  • Among the top 10 in Asia for the most motivated workforce
  • Among the top 10 in Asia for the best skilled labour
  • Among the top 5 in the world for the most business conducive labour regulations
  • The best labour/employer relations in Asia
  • Foreign talent rank Singapore as Asia's best country to work in
  • The first choice for Asian expatriates
  • Singapore’s immigration laws for foreign talent highly-regarded for being business-centric
  • Find out more about Singapore's rankings

Financial Sector Talent Development

Singapore’s workforce is highly-educated, industrious in its work ethic and cosmopolitan. Its multicultural society has also fostered a multi-lingual workforce that is able to effectively serve markets across Asia.

To ensure a quality workforce that stays ahead of the curve, the industry has also taken steps to enhance the level of competency, professionalism and ethical standards. An industry-led initiative, the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) Standards, formerly known as the Financial Industry Competency Standards was launched to benchmark and certify skills among financial sector professionals. There are also various training schemes under the Financial Sector Development Fund  available to systematically upgrade the capabilities of financial sector professionals. 

  • For Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents who are keen to pursue continual learning through:
    • Training and assessment programmes in line with IBF competency standards, please refer to IBF-STS for training support.
    • Broad-based financial sector-specific training recognised by IBF, please refer to FTS for training grant support
  • For Singaporeans in the early to mid-stages of their careers who are keen to deepen their expertise through:
    • Masters and PhD programmes in specialist finance in targeted financial fields, please refer to FSP scholarship opportunities
    • Finance specialist diplomas and other short-term executive technical programmes for skills deepening, please refer to SkillsFuture Study Awards for the Financial Sector.

Financial Training Scheme (FTS)

The objective of FTS is to encourage the development of financial sector expertise by providing financial support for programmes which aim to enhance the skills and capabilities of the Singapore financial sector workforce. It encourages the acquisition of work skills to enter new or developing business areas, or in developing more sophisticated or specialist skill sets.

Learn more about the FTS from 


Institute of Banking and Finance Standards Training Scheme (IBF-STS)

The IBF-STS provides financial support for training and assessment programmes accredited under the IBF Standards. The IBF Standards is a structured competency framework that sets out benchmarks for professional achievement to raise the standard of Singapore’s financial services workforce and training providers. Training and assessment programmes under the IBF Standards are accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF). These programmes provide job-specific and practice-oriented training that are benchmarked to international standards.

Learn more about the IBF-STS from

Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP)

The FSP was launched as a postgraduate scholarship programme to develop a pipeline of specialist leaders in the following targeted fields: 

  • Specialised Finance
  • Finance/Applied Finance/Financial Economics
  • Risk Management
  • Actuarial Science
  • Technology

Company Track

The FSDF will co-fund with Singapore-based financial institutions to send their promising Singaporean financial sector professionals for postgraduate study in the targeted areas. Financial institutions applying for FSP funding should ensure that their candidates have applied directly to and secured admission into top postgraduate programmes, before submitting their applications. 

Individual Track

The FSDF will co-fund with outstanding Singaporeans to pursue postgraduate study in the targeted areas. Candidates must apply on their own to the respective Universities prior to submitting their applications for the FSP to the MAS. 

Eligibility Criteria

The Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) Secretariat will undertake a holistic assessment of each application, and more favourable considerations will be given to Singaporean candidates fulfilling or exceeding in the following areas:

  • Good honours degree (Second Upper/Cum Laude and above);
  • An excellent GRE score of at least 275 and/or GMAT score of at least 650;
  • Demonstrate strong leadership qualities;
  • Possess at least two years of financial sector working experience . 

Application Process

For Company Track, financial institutions should submit their application for the FSP at least 2 months before the date of commencement of the postgraduate programme.

For individual Track, the FSP is open for applications from the start of December to the end of March/April every year. Only shortlisted candidates will be notified.

For more information and prescribed forms, please contact:
Financial Sector Development Fund Secretariat
Financial Centre Development Department
Monetary Authority of Singapore
10 Shenton Way MAS Building
Singapore 079117
Tel: (65) 6225-5577
Fax: (65) 6225-3261

SkillsFuture Study Award for the Financial Sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) introduced the SkillsFuture Study Awards for the Financial Sector in 2015. The SFSA is for early to mid-career Singaporeans who are committed to develop and deepen their skills. Awardees will receive a monetary award of S$5,000, which can be used to defray out-of-pocket expenses associated with the course(s) being taken. It can also be used on top of existing government course fee subsidies.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Singapore citizens with minimum 3 years of work experience in the Financial sector 
  • Committed to deepening skills
  • Has contributed to the learning or training of others
  • Not a previous recipient of any SkillsFuture Study Award 
  • Not a public officer
  • Selected course of study should be relevant to the sector

Examples of Supported Courses
Supported courses should deepen skills in areas including insurance, asset and wealth management, compliance, risk management, data analytics, and cyber security.

Supported courses include, but are not limited to, short-term executive technical courses and specialist diploma programmes such as:

 Course  Institution
Specialist Diploma in Business Analytics Temasek Polytechnic
Specialist Diploma in Cloud Data Centre Technology and Management Nanyang Polytechnic
Specialist Diploma in Business & Big Data Analytics Nanyang Polytechnic
Specialist Diploma in Cyber Security Management Singapore Polytechnic
Specialist Diploma in Operational Risk Management NUS Risk Management Institute
Advanced Diploma in Enterprise Business Analytics Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Financial Market Operations and Technology: Risk Management Systems Singapore Management University
Advanced Network Forensics & Analytics SANS Institute
Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists
ICA Advanced Certificate in Governance, Risk & Compliance – IBF Level 1 International Compliance Training Academy (ICTA)
Financial Risk Manager Certification Training Program NUS Risk Management Institute
SMU Executive Certificate in Structured Trade & Commodity Finance Singapore Management University
Master of Science in Analytics Nanyang Technological University
Master in Insurance & Risk Management MIB School of Management
Master of Science (Project Management) with Project Finance Specialisation National University of Singapore
Leading with Big Data Analytics National University of Singapore
ICA Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance International Compliance Training Academy (ICTA)
ICA Diploma in Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Financing Terrorism International Compliance Training Academy (ICTA)
Oxford Fintech Program University of Oxford

These are examples of supported courses, and the list is not meant to be exhaustive. Applicants may submit other courses for consideration on a case-by-case basis. All applications are subjected to competitive selection process.

Application Period
We will soon be releasing the period of application for 2019.

For more information, please email: or refer to SkillsFuture Study Awards main page:

Last Modified on 17/05/2019