Ravi Menon: A tech-enabled financial sector – is our workforce ready?

Remarks by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the "Growing Timber" MAS-IBF Webinar Series, 4 May 2021.

Central bank speech  | 
04 May 2021

Good morning and thank you for joining us.

At the "Growing Timber" webinar six months ago, I spoke about:

  • how jobs are the central economic challenge of our times;
  • where the job opportunities in financial services are;
  • how we can make our tertiary students job-ready for the financial sector; and
  • how we can help our mid-career workers retain their jobs amid technological changes.

Today, I want to focus on two topics:

  • an update on job opportunities in financial services based on MAS' latest employment outlook survey; and
  • the most challenging part of our jobs and skills agenda – job specialisation, specifically in the area of technology, based on a deep dive study MAS has done.

On both topics, I will be sharing for the first time some granular data and information so that we can have a deeper understanding of the challenges and opportunities on the jobs and skills front in the financial sector.

Job Opportunities – Employment Outlook for Financial Sector

Let me start with job opportunities.

The financial sector added 2,200 net jobs in 2020 – a year when the economy as a whole shed 180,000 net jobs.

  • About 2,800 net jobs went to Singaporeans; non-Singaporeans accounted for a net job loss of 600.
  • This 100% Singaporean share of net job growth is unusual. It reflects
    • the impact of the Job Support Scheme that shored up local employment; and
    • the border control measures during the COVID-19 pandemic that made the employment of foreigners difficult.