Bankers in their 30s and 40s in Singapore are starting to latch on to a government programme to give their languishing careers a boost. The SkillsFuture scheme was further tweaked last week to enhance training for Polytechnic graduates, but mid-career finance professionals are already considering how to take advantage of its opportunities for subsidised training, reports the Straits Times.
Diana Lim, 36, a priority segment manager at Standard Chartered, told the newspaper that on-the-job training was enough to help her sharpen her skills at a more junior level, but she’s now looking to use SkillsFuture to subsidise an Executive MBA.
While SkillsFuture has been launched with a fair amount of fanfare and media attention, a recruiter we spoke with in Singapore says beyond the hype it should help encourage more financial professionals to take on qualifications they might otherwise have not bothered with. “This really provides great incentive for me and many of my mid-career colleagues to go for further training in our area of work,” Matthew Sachi, a 39-year-old VP of cyber security at OCBC, told the Straits Times. “Some courses can cost a few thousand dollars so, without the subsidies, it would be quite a hefty sum for me to fork out.”
Aron China, 35, a desk head in global markets at UOB, says financial professionals need more training to keep ahead of clients who are getting increasingly sophisticated and have easier access to financial information.
Whatever the motivations of financial professionals, the programme’s ultimate aim will be to boost the number of Singaporeans reaching the upper ranks of banks. Foreign staff remain disproportionally represented at management level.
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