Sin­ga­pore to cre­ate 4,000 jobs in fi­nan­cial ser­vices trans­for­ma­tion

The Nation - - ASIA INNOVATION -

A ROADMAP to trans­form the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try is tar­get­ing the cre­ation of 3,000 net jobs an­nu­ally, with another 1,000 in fin­tech alone.

The in­dus­try trans­for­ma­tion (ITM) also aims to achieve growth in fi­nan­cial sec­tor real value-added of 4.3 per cent and pro­duc­tiv­ity of 2.4 per cent an­nu­ally, faster than the over­all econ­omy.

At the same time, banks and fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions have to do more to re­train work­ers whose jobs are af­fected by dis­rup­tive changes in the fi­nance in­dus­try and match them to new jobs, Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Ong Ye Kung said yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing at the launch of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices ITM, Ong noted that the most im­por­tant as­pect of any trans­for­ma­tion plan lies in peo­ple.

How­ever, he noted, when an ex­ist­ing ac­tiv­ity is dis­rupted and jobs be­come at risk, the ten­dency is to lay off staff.

“But this can­not be the so­lu­tion of first re­sort,” he said.

“For pro­fes­sion­als who have honed their craft over many years, a large part of what they al­ready know can be reap­plied within the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor or in other ad­ja­cent sec­tors.”

With­out ad­dress­ing the con­cerns of those af­fected by change, there can be no change, and by ex­ten­sion, no in­no­va­tion, he added.

And so the Mon­e­tary Au­thor­ity of Sin­ga­pore will work with key fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to make a strong push in im­ple­ment­ing Pro­fes­sional Con­ver­sion Pro­grammes (PCPs) to help their staff move into new jobs, in­clud­ing in growth ar­eas such as tech­nol­ogy and com­pli­ance.

The MAS is also work­ing with part­ner agen­cies to ex­pand ca­reer ad­vi­sory and job­match­ing ser­vices for the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor, to pro­vide guid­ance on the train­ing that fi­nan­cial ser­vices pro­fes­sion­als will need and help those dis­placed to en­rol in PCPs or seek new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

More broadly, Mr Ong noted that the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try has to ex­pand and deepen its tal­ent pool, at a pace that can catch up with that of digi­ti­sa­tion and au­toma­tion, which are re­defin­ing job roles.

“We want to en­able more Sin­ga­pore­ans to com­pete for and take on re­gional and even global lead­er­ship roles, across many fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions.”

He noted that the MAS has sup­ported fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions in send­ing promis­ing Sin­ga­pore­ans for over­seas post­ings, to gain in­ter­na­tional ex­po­sure and ex­pe­ri­ence.

To de­velop deep ca­pa­bil­i­ties, Ong noted that Sin­ga­pore also has to an­chor the best in­ter­na­tional ca­pa­bil­i­ties here and grow its own tim­ber over time.

“MAS is work­ing with the Min­istry of Man­power and Work­force Sin­ga­pore to pilot the Ca­pa­bil­ity Trans­fer Pro­gramme, which sup­ports the bring­ing in of in­ter­na­tional tal­ent with spe­cialised ex­per­tise and fa­cil­i­tates the trans­fer of ca­pa­bil­i­ties to our lo­cal pro­fes­sion­als,” he said.

Aside from jobs and skills, the ITM out­lines other growth strate­gies for the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try, such as de­vel­op­ing Sin­ga­pore as a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for wealth man­age­ment and cre­at­ing a full-ser­vice Asian in­fra­struc­ture fi­nanc­ing hub here.

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