Polytechnics, industry body sign MOU to cultivate students' passion, talent in fintech

SINGAPORE - The five local polytechnics and Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) have come together to plan a slew of programmes that will cultivate students' passion and talent in fintech.

Their aim: To develop a strong talent pool trained in financial technology that will help Singapore become a smart financial centre.

For that purpose, the five polytechnics and SFA announced on Wednesday (Feb 1) that they have signed their first memorandum of understanding (MOU) to deepen collaboration between educators and the fintech industry.

The five are Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic.

Their collaboration will help prepare polytechnic graduates to meet manpower needs in the fintech industry, SFA and the polytechnics said in a joint statement.

According to a survey conducted in 2015, Singapore employers estimated 5,100 fintech job openings in network and infrastructure in the three years to 2018, with a further 5,700 jobs in data analytics and cyber security, they added.

Additionally, the involvement of start-ups, financial institutions and regulatory bodies will ensure that the programmes developed are relevant to industry needs, they said.

Their plans for 2017 include:

- Innovation lab crawls:

The Poly Student Innovation Lab Crawls involving at least 10 innovation labs will take place this year.

These labs will host interesting exhibits, and conduct facilitated tours and programmes to help students understand the impact of innovation created by renowned companies, such as V-Key and KPMG Digital Village, and financial service companies, such as HSBC, Open Vault, The FinLab, Visa and Mastercard, in the workplace.

- Internships:

SFA will introduce final-year polytechnic students, who wish to explore local or cross-border internship opportunities in fintech-related roles, to start-ups, financial institutions and regulatory bodies within the fintech community.

SFA will also recommend industry practitioners as mentors, as well as venture capitalists and incubators, to students.

- Workshops:

SFA will engage experts from the industry and companies to update the polytechnics on new technological, regulatory and other advancements in the banking and financial sector.

They plan to conduct 100 educational workshops, including hands-on sessions, at different innovation labs. For emample, V-Key will host a workshop on how advanced mobile security enables digital banking innovation.