S'pore's DBS launches apprenticeship to boost fintech talent

  • Programme developed in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic & Nanyang Polytechnic
  • Programme will contribute to S’pore’s plans to build local fintech talent 

S'pore's DBS launches apprenticeship to boost fintech talentAs part of efforts under the Techskills Accelerator (TeSA) for ITE and Polytechnics Alliance (TIP Alliance) set up by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) together with industry partners, DBS announced that it is launching a structured three-year apprenticeship programme to prepare polytechnic students for technology roles in the bank.  

In a statement, the bank said developed in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic, the DBS FinTech Apprenticeship Programme will take in 20 students this year for a start.

It said there are plans to scale the programme up to benefit more students across all five polytechnics in Singapore. 

The new programme also contributes to Singapore’s plans to build a robust pipeline of local fintech talent as outlined in the national Financial Services Industry Transformation Map 2025, it said. 

S'pore's DBS launches apprenticeship to boost fintech talentJimmy Ng, (pic), goup chief information officer and head of technology and operations at DBS, noted that as Singapore strives to be a leading global financial centre, financial institutions have a critical role to play in investing in the nation’s human capital. 

“As a key employer in Singapore, DBS remains committed to developing a robust pipeline of local talent for the banking sector, particularly in growth areas where finance and technology intersect.”

“Our collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic diversifies the pathways polytechnic students can take to enter the exciting world of banking and finance,” said Ng.

He added that the bank hopes its programme provides a useful blueprint for industry and education institutions to forge more partnerships, which we believe will become increasingly important for nurturing the next generation of future-ready talent.

Jeanne Liew, principal and chief executive officer (CEO) of Nanyang Polytechnic, said the university is excited to partner DBS on this apprenticeship programme. 

“Our students can look forward to a meaningful experience, where they learn on-the-job from fintech professionals, and practise for themselves multiple competencies – like data management, cloud computing and artificial intelligence – that come together for this role.

“This reflects our own radical teaching approach where, instead of subjects, we teach various interlocking skills needed for actual workplace tasks,” said Liew.

Peter Lam, principal and CEO of Temasek Polytechnic, said, “Being immersed into the work culture in banking and fintech is an excellent way for our students to deepen their understanding of tech job roles within the finance industry.”

Kiren Kumar, Deputy Chief Executive, IMDA said technology skills are in demand in tech companies, as well as companies across all sectors of the economy.

“We’re excited that DBS, a member of the TIP Alliance, is launching this apprenticeship for the financial sector.

“This will support polytechnic students to deepen their skillsets during their course of studies so they are well equipped to take on tech roles when they begin their careers,” he added.

Students on the DBS FinTech Apprenticeship Programme will acquire practical knowledge and industry experience throughout their three years of polytechnic education to prepare them for technology roles in the financial sector. This includes:

  • Year 1 to 3 – Each year, students will attend masterclasses delivered by the bank’s senior engineers to gain exposure to how technology is being deployed in the banking and financial sector;
  • Year 2 – Students will receive mentorship from the bank’s senior engineers during their school-based project, which are designed to provide greater exposure to how technologies such as artificial intelligence/machine learning and blockchain have been reshaping banking and finance; and
  • Year 3 – Students will participate in a full-time apprenticeship with DBS for up to 12 months, where they will put theory into practice and gain a better understanding of how technology drives financial innovation.

Upon graduating from the DBS FinTech Apprenticeship Programme, students will undergo a final technology hackathon to be considered for direct placement in a permanent role with DBS. 

A firm believer in hiring for skills and relevant experience, DBS said its recruitment process goes beyond degree qualifications to consider a candidate’s competencies, attitude and cultural fit for a role. 

Since 2017, about 20% of the bank’s hires have been non-degree holders, it added.


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