Government agencies, six local universities and five financial associations, including the General Insurance Association of Singapore (GIA) and the Life Insurance Association of Singapore (LIA), yesterday sealed a landmark Memorandum of Intent (MOI) for the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) FinTech Collective, to jointly develop industry-ready professionals in meeting the strong demands of emerging infocomm technology (ICT) skills.
Apart from the two insurance associations, the Collective comprises the following institutions and financial associations:
- SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, National University of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Technology, Singapore Management University, Singapore University of Social Sciences, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD),
- Singapore Fintech Association, The Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS), Investment Management Association of Singapore (IMAS),
The TeSA FinTech Collective was first announced by Mr Ong Ye Kung, Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Second Minister for Defence, at the Singapore FinTech Festival welcome dinner on 13 November.
By aligning ICT skills taught by the universities with industry’s requirements, the Collective will better equip Singaporeans with the right skills to take up ICT jobs. Initiatives under the Collective include research collaborations in FinTech with the universities, new courses in FinTech specialisations, mentorships and hackathons with finance professionals to help students understand FinTech trends. The Collective will also enhance existing programmes which provide career guidance and skills certification.
Under the Collective, there will be professional education training for university students to learn from industry-ready school curricula. Polytechnic graduates, as well as ICT professionals will also benefit from continuing education training initiatives enhanced for upskilling and reskilling. There will be various outreach efforts for students and professionals to learn about emerging FinTech trends so as to guide their skills development.
Through the various insights from industry-wide network of financial institutions, the Collective will also cover in-demand technologies such as blockchain, cyber security, artificial intelligence and data science.
Ms Jacqueline Loh, Deputy Managing Director, MAS, said, “As financial institutions and FinTechs tap on emerging technologies to create more innovative services, the need for professionals with strong technology skillsets and a good understanding of financial products and processes will grow significantly. This unprecedented, large scale collaboration among the government, financial industry, and universities will help to build a deep FinTech talent pool in Singapore.”
In 2016, the financial sector was the second biggest hirer of ICT professionals in Singapore, after the ICT sector itself. There are more than 24,300 ICT professionals employed in the financial sector, a sharp increase of more than 25% from the 19,100 in 2015. In 2016, total demand for ICT jobs in the finance sector stood at more than 26,200, an all-time high.
The MOI was signed on the sidelines of the five-day Singapore Fintech Festival, which has attracted 25,000 participants and ends today.
Other news from the Festival yesterday include:
- IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the MAS and the ASEAN Bankers Association (ABA), introduced, an industry FinTech sandbox for financial institutions and FinTech firms as part of the ASEAN Financial Innovation Network (AFIN). The Network aims to support financial services innovation and inclusion in less developed markets within the ASEAN region and to provide a platform for collaboration and innovation for financial institutions and FinTech firms.
- The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas and the MAS yesterday signed a FinTech Co-operation Agreement to promote innovation in financial services in their respective markets.
- Prudential Singapore announced a five-year commitment to the MAS to be a Grand Sponsor of the Singapore Fintech Festival from 2018 to 2022. The insurer is a Grand Sponsor of this year's Festival and a mentor to FinTechs participating in the Global Fintech Hackcelerator.