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MAS sets aside $35 mil to support upskilling, reskilling and the development of specialists in sustainable finance

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 4 min read
MAS sets aside $35 mil to support upskilling, reskilling and the development of specialists in sustainable finance
The MAS and IBF, supported by WSG, launched the Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map on the same day. Photo: Albert Chua/The Edge Singapore
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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has set aside $35 million in the Financial Sector Development Fund to support upskilling, reskilling and the development of specialists in sustainable finance over the next three years.

Some of the key initiatives to upskill the workforce within the sustainable finance sector include having more sustainable finance courses for individuals.

For instance, two undergraduate programmes focusing on sustainable finance will be developed. Nanyang Technological University’s (NTU) new programme, the Bachelor of Accounting in Sustainability Management, will open for enrolment from August.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is also working towards introducing a new specialisation in sustainable finance within its business school “in the near future”.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic will be offering a course in sustainable finance within its Diploma in Banking & Finance.

In addition, over 65 new executive courses and a new executive masters in sustainable finance will be launched this year.

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These courses will be offered by institutes of higher learning and training providers such as the Singapore College of Insurance and the Wealth Management Institute (WMI), as well as centres of excellence like the Singapore Green Finance Centre (SGFC) and the Sustainable and Green Finance Institute (SGFIN).

The Institute of Banking & Finance Singapore (IBF) will also implement an IBF Skills Badge, which will serve as an industry benchmark. The badge will recognise professionals who have acquired skills in sustainable finance and support skills-based hiring and promotion by employers.

Launch of Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map

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On the same day, MAS and IBF, supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG), launched the Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map (JTM), which details the impact of sustainability trends on jobs in Singapore’s financial services sector.

The map also looks at the emerging skills that the workforce will require to serve the rising demand for sustainable financing in the region.

According to the Sustainable Finance JTM study conducted by KPMG Singapore, the Asean region is projected to require between $4 trillion to $5 trillion in sustainable financing from 2023 to 2032, or an estimated compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9%.

The largest demand drivers to the trend are from the energy sector as well as the construction and real estate sectors due to electricity distribution infrastructure, the deployment of renewable energy and the greening of commercial buildings.

The manufacturing, transportation, utilities and agriculture sectors are also those that will require “substantial” sustainable financing needs.

As such, KPMG sees a “window of opportunity” for Singapore to become the sustainable finance hub for the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. To seize these opportunities, the finance sector workforce in Singapore will have to undergo “timely upskilling” to deepen their sustainable finance capabilities over the next three years.

To this end, the consulting firm sees that 56% of current professionals in the finance sector – or about 50,000 roles – will see new sustainable finance-related job tasks added to their work functions to a “moderate to high” degree.

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In addition, KPMG projects that about 4,000 to 5,000 new sustainable finance-related jobs will be created in Singapore over the next 10 years.

“Asean’s sizeable sustainable financing needs over the next decade present significant opportunities for Singapore’s financial centre to support the region’s transition to net zero. MAS is strongly supportive of efforts across financial institutions and the training providers to upskill the financial services sector workforce in a timely fashion. I encourage professionals to tap on the available support and deepen their sustainable finance capabilities to capture these opportunities,” says Chia Der Jiun, managing director of MAS.

“The launch of the Sustainable Finance JTM serves as a timely resource for financial institutions and individuals to identify new specific skillsets needed to stay resilient and future-ready. IBF’s new Skills Badge will provide a common industry benchmark to recognise individuals’ acquisition of sustainable finance skills, and facilitate upskilling, skills-based hiring and job mobility. IBF will continue to curate new training programmes in sustainable finance, to meet growing demand and enhance individuals’ access to relevant quality courses,” adds Carolyn Neo, CEO of IBF.

“Through WSG’s collaboration with MAS and IBF, the Sustainable Finance JTM marks a significant step towards building a skilled workforce to serve the growing sustainable finance market in Singapore and Asean. It underscores our commitment to equip Singaporeans with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the evolving landscape of sustainable finance, while contributing to the nation's sustainability goals. Financial institutions can tap on WSG’s CCP for Financial Services to equip mid-career new hires and existing financial services professionals with the emerging skills like sustainable finance instruments or sustainability risks, necessary to support the financial sector achieve its sustainable finance goals,” says Dilys Boey, chief executive of WSG.

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