4,700 people get MAS subsidy to upgrade skills

Move part of Covid-19 relief measures to help financial industry staff during this downtime

The grants supplement the Jobs Support Scheme. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

About 4,700 people have benefited from training subsidies to upgrade their skills during the downtime due to the pandemic.

So far, 2,815 trainees sponsored by 36 financial institutions and 1,864 who are paying their own way have been beneficiaries of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) grant.

The MAS said on April 8 that it will disburse $10 per training hour to individuals paying for courses accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) and $15 per training hour to financial institutions and fintech firms for each employee they send.

It is part of a slew of relief measures the central bank has rolled out to help financial institutions and their employees amid the crisis.

The grant supplements the Jobs Support Scheme announced in this year's Budget.

Subsidies for relevant courses accredited by the IBF have also been increased to 90 per cent, up from 50 per cent to 70 per cent, as long as the attendees are Singaporeans or permanent residents.

The MAS has received 29 applications for its Finance Associate Management Scheme, which provides salary support for financial institutions to hire Singaporean fresh graduates or Singaporean workers from other sectors and place them in talent development programmes.

It disburses $2,000 a month to financial institutions for each eligible Singaporean they hire as part of the scheme, up from $1,000 before the pandemic.

Applications from 29 financial institutions have been submitted for more than 560 jobs over three years in areas such as wealth management, investment banking and insurance, among others.

Financial institutions have also offered 1,200 positions through the SGUnited Traineeship Programme and Technology in Finance Immersion Programme this year, the MAS added.

The Technology in Finance Immersion Programme equips mid-career professionals with skills to help them land jobs in artificial intelligence, cloud computing and cyber security, among others.


The MAS has also received 165 applications from smaller financial institutions and fintech firms for a grant that offsets expenses for adopting digital solutions such as virtual-conferencing systems, cloud technology services and online collaboration tools.

The grant supports 80 per cent of qualifying expenses for the adoption of digital solutions, up to a cap of $120,000 per applicant.

There have also been two applicants for the industry pilot track of the grant, which supports collaboration among at least three smaller financial institutions to customise digital solutions for internal use.

Endowus chief executive Gregory Van said that the financial advisory firm has hired one worker so far as part of the Finance Associate Management Scheme. He intends to hire four more.

Mr Van said: "Our current headcount is 30, and the (scheme) will allow us to grow our headcount by more than 10 per cent to meet our growing business needs."

Endowus has also used the Digital Acceleration Grant to boost its online presence.

Mr Van said: "Over the circuit breaker (period), we have on occasion hosted up to three webinars in one week due to the scalability of these digital tools.

"These webinars have allowed us to acquire an average of 50 per cent new leads with each session, with more than 32,000 views and a watch time of over 8,600 hours since early March."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 11, 2020, with the headline 4,700 people get MAS subsidy to upgrade skills. Subscribe