Financial services expected to create 1,800 new jobs and 2,000 traineeships by June 2021: MAS

Around 880 of these posts will be in technology, including top roles such as application developers. ST PHOTO: DESMOND WEE

SINGAPORE - Financial institutions aim to have created 1,800 new jobs and 2,000 traineeships by June next year, a survey has noted.

Around 880 of these posts will be in technology, including top roles such as application developers, application architects and business analysts.

The survey, which polled about 30 firms accounting for 40 per cent of the financial services workforce on their projected hiring over the 12 months from July this year, also found that firms are recruiting for basic positions like tech support.

"These roles are typically less complex and more rules-based," said Mr Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), which conducted the survey.

"However, they pay less than intermediate and advanced tech roles and have not appealed to Singaporeans as much.

"We hope more locals will take up these job roles, even if they are less paid, which also provide a pathway to the intermediate tech jobs, which are in demand."

Intermediate tech jobs include application developers, data analysts and cyber-security specialists.

"These are roles which Singaporeans with relevant background can potentially be trained into," said Mr Menon, who was speaking at a webinar on Thursday (Nov 26) organised by the MAS and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF).

He noted that the MAS and IBF started a Technology in Finance Immersion Programme last year to help financial institutions hire mid-career locals from other sectors with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The programme, which is supported by Workforce Singapore and the Infocomm Media Development Authority, involves training and attachments in areas such as data analytics, cyber security, cloud computing and full stack development.

Advanced-level tech roles in demand include enterprise and infrastructure architects, which are specialist positions requiring highly technical skills, Mr Menon noted.

"It requires years of training and experience to attain mastery of these skills. The local supply of talent for such jobs is quite limited and financial institutions will need to rely on expertise from abroad while building a pipeline of locals for these advanced tech roles," he added.

Roles in private banking and wealth management are expected to account for 12 per cent of the jobs being offered, noted the survey. These include positions like relationship management and digital transformation.

The remaining new jobs are spread across other business segments, including insurance, corporate, consumer and investment banking, and asset management, as well as in corporate roles such as finance and human resources.

Mr Menon added that tech jobs will account for 23 per cent of the traineeships on offer, in roles such as application developers and business analysts.

Other traineeship roles include those in compliance, risk management and process excellence.

But firms will still be looking for experienced hires or specialists to fill over 60 per cent of jobs, the survey found.

Mr Menon said: "Employers must be willing to take a calculated chance to hire and train mid-career job seekers who have good experience but may not have all the requisite skills, but can be trained.

"Likewise, job seekers must be willing to step out of their comfort zone and take a stab at trying new roles and picking up new skills."

Mr Menon noted that financial services firms created 1,900 jobs in the first half of this year, all going to locals.

The sector employs 170,000 people, accounting for 4.5 per cent of Singapore's total workforce and 13.3 per cent of gross domestic product.

The MAS will undertake the survey every six months.

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