SINGAPORE – A scheme launched recently by Singapore’s central bank aims to significantly boost the number of polytechnic graduates with full-time jobs in the financial sector, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Alvin Tan.
The Polytechnic Talent for Finance Scheme, introduced by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in April, will encourage financial institutions to hire and train polytechnic students and graduates, he added on Wednesday.
“MAS targets to increase the number of polytechnic graduates who take on full-time permanent jobs in the financial sector by more than 80 per cent, from about 160 entering the sector in 2021 to at least 300 by 2025,” Mr Tan said in response to a parliamentary question.
MAS will set aside $8 million, through the Financial Sector Development Fund, over the next three years for the scheme which will be administered by the Institute of Banking & Finance (IBF).
Mr Tan added that there are three tracks under the scheme – internships for polytechnic students, apprenticeships for polytechnic graduates and sponsorships for finance professionals who are diploma holders.
The internship track seeks to encourage financial institutions to train polytechnic students and hire them upon graduation. The apprenticeship track aims to provide polytechnic graduates with an alternative pathway to acquire further skills to progress in their careers.
The sponsorship track encourages polytechnic graduates to stay in their jobs in the financial sector while they further their studies.
While the financial sector already offers many internships to polytechnic students, there are much fewer apprenticeship programmes, Mr Tan noted.
MAS aims for the apprenticeship track to contribute the bulk of the target increase in the number of polytechnic graduates in the sector, he said.
“As financial institutions develop familiarity with the caliber of polytechnic talent, and as polytechnic graduates gain a better appreciation of the opportunities in the financial sector, they can become a more significant source of talent for the sector over time.”
Mr Tan said the scheme includes a wide range of training courses, subsidised under the financial training scheme and the IBF Standards Training Scheme.
It also includes job rotations that offer training and mentorship as well as overseas postings to help finance professionals, including polytechnic graduates, advance their careers.
Mr Tan added that besides supporting polytechnic graduates, there are also schemes to help Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students gain a head start in their careers.
These include ITE work-study diplomas, which place students in jobs related to the discipline of study while they pursue their diplomas. The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and industry-led TechSkills Accelerator also equips ITE and polytechnic students with skills to take up opportunities in tech sectors.