Box Story 4: Investment in Talent Infrastructure
MAS recognises that a deep pool of skilled talent is critical to the continued success of the financial sector. To address this challenge, MAS works closely with organisations such as the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF), the Workforce Development Agency (WDA), institutions of higher learning as well as financial industry players to increase supply, enhance competencies and bulid intellectual capacity.
An industry-led initiative, the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) was first launched in 2005 to benchmark and certify skills among financial sector professionals. MAS has been working closely with the IBF to implement the FICS framework. To date, close to 100 financial institutions have participated in FICS-accredited training and assessment. In addition, major financial institutions have implemented FICS within their internal training and assessment infrastructure. A growing number of top financial industry professionals have been conferred the distinguished Financial Industry Certified Professional (FICP) title, a certification which embodies professional competence and commitment to excellence for the financial services industry.
Besides developing a broad base of skilled manpower, MAS also aims to build a critical mass of specialists in areas such as specialised finance, risk management, actuarial science, economics and Islamic Finance. Over 30 scholarships under the Finance Scholarship Programme (FSP) were awarded in 2008. To encourage the industry to continue to invest in talent development and position itself for the upturn, MAS enhanced its training support for the industry. These include increases in co-funding amounts by the Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) from 50% to 70% under the Financial Training Scheme (FTS), and from 70% to 90% for programmes accredited under the Financial Industry Competency Standards (FICS) framework. MAS has also set aside funds to support the new Finance Graduate Immersion Programme (FGIP) aimed at providing fresh graduates with industry attachment opportunities over the next one to two years.