Parliamentary Replies
Published Date: 03 October 2022

Reply to Parliamentary Question on beneficiaries and targeted competencies under Talent and Leaders in Finance Programme




Date: For Parliament Sitting on 03 October 2022

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Leong Mun Wai, NCMP


To ask the Prime Minister under the Financial Services Industry Transformation Map 2025, involving $400 million in grant funding to the Talent and Leaders in Finance programme over 2021 to 2025 (a) who are the beneficiaries under this programme; (b) what are the targeted competencies which will be built under the programme; and (c) how will these competencies help Singaporeans to gain a larger share of the senior finance jobs in the future.

Answer by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Minister in charge of MAS:

1. The Talent and Leaders in Finance (or “TLF”) programme aims to help Singaporeans working in or looking to join the financial services sector take on deep specialist or senior leadership roles in the sector. It will also benefit the financial services sector in Singapore by adding to the skills, expertise and global networks of our local workforce.

2. The programme will support our finance professionals at each stage in their careers. It will help them adapt to a changing financial services sector and take up opportunities in new growth areas.

3. At the entry level, TLF will focus on ensuring our polytechnic and university students are well-equipped with the needed skills. MAS is working with financial institutions and institutes of higher learning to structure internships with clearly defined goals to acquire skills and to update course curriculum so our students are equipped with in-demand skills. The programme will also co-fund job rotation schemes that provide training and mentorship for new entrants joining financial institutions.

4. At the mid-career level, TLF will provide opportunities for finance professionals to reskill and upskill themselves, so as to help them respond to the fast-changing demands of their roles.These include subsidised course fees and career conversion programmes, and defraying expenses so as to encourage financial institutions to send their employees on overseas stints.

5. Importantly, the programme will help develop Singaporean specialists in the two key growth areas of technology and sustainability. MAS is working closely with the industry to identify talent needs in these areas and develop relevant training programmes.

6. In the technology sphere, the Institute of Banking & Finance and MAS studied the impact of data analytics and automation on job roles in the financial sector. They then used this information to launch career conversion programmes that enable existing professionals to acquire skills for new job roles. More than 4,400 individuals in consumer banking, operations and insurance roles have been trained or are undergoing training, and more than 2,100 individuals from this group have successfully taken on new job roles. The Technology in Finance Immersion Programme (TFIP) has helped 600 workers with no prior work experience in the areas offered under the programme, acquire skills to start a career in fields such as software engineering, data analytics, and agile IT project management.

7. Sustainability is an emerging field in the financial services sector, with high demand for talent and skills.In close consultation with industry, MAS has developed the Sustainable Finance Technical Skills and Competencies (TSCs), which define the standards of proficiency and knowledge that workers need to perform various job roles in sustainable finance. Training providers and financial institutions can use these TSCs to develop relevant training programmes.

8. Finally, leadership development is an important area of focus for TLF.As Singapore grows in stature as a leading global financial centre, it is attracting more regional and global functions, and consequently leadership positions being based here. The recently announced ONE Pass programme is thus important, as it helps us attract high-quality global talent that can take on some of these leadership roles and help anchor these regional and global functions here, to create good jobs and value-added growth.At the same time, within the limited size of our local talent pool, we must groom and develop as many Singaporeans as possible so they have a strong chance to take on these senior leadership roles that we are creating and anchoring here.

9. As many of our financial institutions serve the region using Singapore as a base, having deep knowledge of the region’s operating environment is critical for taking on senior leadership roles. MAS will provide funding support for financial institutions to develop more high-potential Singaporeans to grow their leadership capabilities through overseas postings and other development programmes.This will help them take on global and regional leadership roles. MAS is also stepping up its efforts to foster a strong network of Singaporean leaders in finance and enable a community of leaders to mentor our next generation leaders.

10. We have seen some success. MAS estimates that more than 3,500 Singapore Citizens held senior roles in the financial sector in 2021, more than double compared to 2016.

11. MAS will continue to work with financial institutions and tripartite partners to review and enhance the programme, upskill Singaporeans and better equip them to take on senior roles in finance, and grow Singapore’s status as one of the world’s leading financial centres.

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