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Singapore introduces Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map

Singapore introduces Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map

Over 50,000 professionals in the financial services sector can expect new sustainable finance-related tasks added to their jobs to a moderate-to-high degree.

Singapore's financial services sector can now tap into the new Sustainable Finance Jobs Transformation Map (JTM), launched by Alvin Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, and Board Member of MAS on 17 April 2024 (Wednesday).

The JTM, developed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) and supported by Workforce Singapore (WSG), intends to lay out the impact of sustainability trends on jobs in Singapore’s financial services sector and the emerging skills that the workforce will require to serve sustainable financing demand in the region.

Leading up to the launch, KPMG conducted the JTM study in Singapore, forecasting that the sustainable finance market in ASEAN will amount to S$4 to 5tn over the next decade. Complementing this, a robust and skilled workforce will strengthen Singapore’s ability to serve the growing sustainable finance market in ASEAN — Singapore’s financial services sector workforce should therefore aim to undergo upskilling within the next three years to seize these opportunities.

Other key findings from the study include:

  • More than 50,000 professionals in the financial services sector can expect new sustainable finance-related tasks added to their jobs to a moderate-to-high degree. This applies to a number of career tracks — especially risk, compliance & legal and product solutioning & management. Some examples of new tasks include incorporating sustainability risks into enterprise risk management frameworks, or structuring specialised products to meet sustainable finance demands.
  • The report also identified 20 unique job roles as high priority roles for upskilling. These include:
    • Relationship managers in corporate banking, who will require knowledge in sectoral decarbonisation pathways and sustainable finance instruments, so as to identify and explain related service offerings to clients.
    • Portfolio managers, who will require skills in sustainable investment management and the ability to construct appropriate investment portfolios based on investors’ sustainability strategies and preferences.
  • Last, new job roles will emerge, in areas such as sustainability risk and sustainability strategy.

Per MAS' statement: "These new roles will become more prevalent as financial institutions increasingly prioritise sustainability as a core business strategy for their organisations. Specialised and deep sustainable finance skillsets will be required to perform these new job roles."

Initiatives to support upskilling

Against this backdrop, MAS has set aside S$35mn in the Financial Sector Development Fund to support upskilling and reskilling, and develop specialists in sustainable finance over the next three years.

Key initiatives to upskill the financial services sector workforce:

Expanding the suite of sustainable finance courses for individuals

This will include two undergraduate programmes focusing on sustainable finance will be developed. For instance, Nanyang Technological University's Bachelor of Accounting in Sustainability Management will be available for enrollment from August 2024, and the National University of Singapore is working towards introducing a new specialisation in sustainable finance within its business school in the near future.

At the same time, more than 65 new executive courses and a new executive masters in sustainable finance will be launched this year by institutes of higher learning, training providers, and centres of excellence. This builds on the wide base of more than 100 IBF-accredited and recognised sustainable finance courses available today, covering areas such as sustainability risk management and sustainable investment management.

Implementing an IBF Skills Badge to recognise industry professionals’ acquisition of sustainable finance skills

The skills badge will serve as an industry benchmark to recognise individual’s skills mastery and support skills-based hiring and promotion by employers.

These initiatives build on existing support for both finance and non-finance professionals in reskilling for sustainable finance job roles.

Chia Der Jiun, Managing Director, MAS, said: "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.

"I encourage professionals to tap on the available support and deepen their sustainable finance capabilities to capture these opportunities."

Following the launch, Minister for Manpower Dr. Tan See Leng also shared in a Facebook post: "As the demand for sustainable financing continues to rise, professionals in the financial sector have an exciting opportunity to contribute to this growth while making a meaningful difference."

ALSO READ: Skills development a key focus of new Singapore Sustainable Finance Association

Lead image / Minister for Manpower Dr. Tan See Leng

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