Deputy PM announces $3million employee grants

by Hannah Norton01 Jul 2015
The Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced plans for initiatives to help improve skills and expertise for staff in the financial sector.

Part of Singapore’s SkillsFuture programme, the initiative aims to help those in the sector deal with the introduction of new technologies, it was announced by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam yesterday.

“We will introduce several manpower and talent development initiatives to ensure a strong Singaporean core across the range of activities in the financial sector," he said at the 42nd annual dinner of the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) last night.

The SkillsFuture Financial Sector Earn and Learn programmes will enable fresh polytechnic graduates to gain experience at financial institutions, which will be credited towards a diploma.

Under the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn programme, employers of graduates can get grants of up to $15,000 per trainee to offset their costs.

There will be at least 200 spaces available in the next year.

The efforts to develop professional talent and skills in the financial industry were aimed at developing a strong core of Singaporean leaders in the sector, Tharman said.

He referenced the new Asian Financial Leaders Programme which has launched for finance professionals aspiring to C-suite roles.

"This programme will take advantage of Singapore’s strong and expanding linkages in the region, including ASEAN, China and India, and aim to strengthen those links through leadership development.

“The Asian Financial Leaders Programme is aimed at equipping finance professionals aspiring to C-suite roles with the knowledge and capabilities to operate effectively across diverse business, regulatory, and legal environments.

“Participants will be given the opportunity to learn from and interact with top policy-makers from the region and to also build networks with fellow financial sector leaders."

Speaking at the event, the incoming chairman of ABS Wee Ee Cheong said that upgrading workforce skills will help banks stay competitive.

“If we want to stay relevant in the global arena, we cannot afford to be inward-looking.

“The competition is out there. We are where we are today because we are a place where talent, wealth and knowledge gather. And in our inter-connected world, none of these have boundaries.

"So as we build the Singapore core, we must be receptive to, attract and retain, the best ideas, talent and capital, wherever they are from. If we don’t, others will."

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