The five local polytechnics and Singapore FinTech Association (SFA) have signed an agreement to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to deepen collaboration between educators and the FinTech industry. This is a continuation of the good foundation laid by PolyFinTech100 initiative, launched in October 2016, to develop a strong talent pool trained in financial technology as part of the development of Singapore into a Smart Financial Centre.

Inked with the five local polytechnics – Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic Singapore Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, the original MOU was SFA’s first foray into the education sector by deepening their engagement with the polytechnic community.

Since the last MOU which was signed in February 2017, more than 5,000 students had participated in local and global FinTech internships, PolyFinTech 100 API hackathons, innovation lab crawls, workshops and sharing sessions at Singapore FinTech Festival. Notably are those corporations which had presented many interesting FinTech internships for the poly community such as MAS Project Ubin[1] , Prudential’s askPRU chatbot[2] and AIDA Technologies’ machine learning solutions for the financial services industry.

To further build on the momentum created by the first MOU, the subsequent MOU will include a new, first-of-its-kind Singapore FinTech Youth Chapter (SFYC), which will be affiliated to SFA. This initiative has the long-term view of engaging youths up to 35 years old[3] to be connected with the FinTech community both locally and overseas, leveraging on the more than 60 MOUs signed by SFA with overseas FinTech hubs in 40 countries. For a start, China, Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea have expressed interest to work with the SFYC. This builds on the exposure which polytechnic students received while on campus, and will continue to help them gain a deeper understanding and access to FinTech careers and opportunities locally and globally as they continue their further education in universities or enter the workforce.

Prudential Singapore (“Prudential”) will be the inaugural lead collaborator for the SFYC to provide strategic guidance and amplify its efforts at collaborating with youths across different backgrounds. The life insurer has been working with educational institutions, including polytechnics, to provide students exposure to the financial services industry through internships, and co-creation platforms such as hackathons.

SFA will work with the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs) in the recruitment of 10,000 youths over the next 5 years, in addition to providing an advisory and guidance role to the SFYC. By having this close working relationship between the SFYC and SFA, we are providing the youths with the first-hand experience and access to the FinTech industry while they learn from the FinTech industry mentors and practitioners, thus perpetuating the talent pipeline for FinTech industry. Riding on the successful launch of the virtual Talent Pavilion (www.Talentpavilion.sg), a one-stop-shop for jobs and skills as organised by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) as part of the Growing Timber Series during the 2020 Singapore FinTech Festival, we are delighted to announce that this initiative will be a key part of the Talent Pavilion as it continues to serve the ongoing Talent needs of the FinTech ecosystem in 2021 and beyond.

On FinTech’s burgeoning role in Singapore, SFA’s President Mr Chia Hock Lai, said, “The MOU kick-starts an enriching partnership with the IHLs to nurture a pool of skilled manpower for the flourishing FinTech community – a critical success factor for FinTech development in Singapore.”

Mr Clarence Ti, Principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, added, “We are pleased to once again partner SFA to nurture the next generation of fintech talents. This renewed collaboration underlines PolyFintech 100 and SFA’s shared commitment to strengthening our outreach to youths. Building on the progress made, the Fintech Youth Chapter will provide a platform for our youths to connect with local and global fintech players, and equip them with the right capabilities to navigate the digital future.” (Ngee Ann Polytechnic is the SkillsFuture Sector Coordinator for Accountancy and Financial Services.)

Mr Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, added, “We are delighted that PolyFinTech 100 and SFA have come together to provide our youths with a head-start in FinTech skills and unlock career opportunities as they gain first-hand experience and access to the FinTech industry. This comes at a time when our local FinTech industry is entering a stable growth stage. A strong and professional talent pipeline will ensure our continued success as a Smart Financial Centre.” 

Prudential Singapore’s CEO Dennis Tan said, “The Singapore Fintech Youth Chapter (SFYC) is a deepening of our collaboration with the polytechnics that started in 2018. Through this initiative, we hope to open up more co-creation opportunities for our youths and support them in their journeys to become the Fintech leaders of tomorrow.”

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