New initiatives by MAS for Singaporeans to be leaders in finance: Tharman

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) building.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) building.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has rolled out new initiatives to strengthen support for all Singaporeans in the financial sector to learn, develop expertise and to cope with the changes brought about by new technologies, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said on Tuesday.

The programmes, as part of the national SkillsFuture effort, will also include developing Singaporean leaders in finance, with the capabilities to take on responsibilities regionally and globally, he said.

Speaking at the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS)'s 42nd annual dinner, Mr Tharman, who is also Finance Minister and chairman of MAS, outlined four key initiatives targeted at finance professionals in different stages of their career.

This is to "ensure a strong Singaporean core across the range of activities in the financial sector," he said.

For early-career Singaporeans, MAS will provide 30 scholarships per year to help them develop specialist capabilities through post-graduate studies.

Singaporeans in the early to mid-stages of their careers can tap on some 70 SkillsFuture Study Awards to develop and deepen their skills through different courses, especially in areas where industry expertise remain in short supply.

All Singaporean finance professionals will continue to enjoy MAS funding for up to 70 per cent of financial sector training courses. On top of this, subsidies for all Singaporeans aged 40 and above will be at least 90 per cent of training costs for approved courses.

Young starters who have recently graduated from local polytechnics will be able to take advantage of the new Financial Sector Earn and Learn programme to gain a headstart in the industry.

Major banks in Singapore have committed to provide at least 200 places for polytechnic graduates in the next year, Mr Tharman said.

To equip local finance practitioners who aspire to take on regional or global leadership positions, Mr Tharman also announced the launch of the Asian Financial Leaders Programme. Slated to start in November this year, the programme will span 22 days over eight months, with separate modules conducted in Singapore, China, Indonesia, Switzerland and US.