DBS launches structured apprenticeship programme for polytechnic students to boost pipeline of local fintech talent

Singapore.10 Oct 2022

DBS FinTech Apprenticeship Programme to pioneer with 20 students from Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic

Singapore, 10 Oct 2022 - As 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 today that it is launching a structured three-year apprenticeship programme to prepare polytechnic students for technology roles in the bank.

Developed in collaboration with Temasek Polytechnic and Nanyang Polytechnic, the DBS FinTech Apprenticeship Programme will take in 20 students this year for a start, with 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[1].

Jimmy Ng, Group Chief Information Officer and Head of Technology & 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. We also hope the DBS FinTech Apprenticeship 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 & CEO of Nanyang Polytechnic, shared: “We are 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.”

Peter Lam, Principal & CEO of Temasek Polytechnic, said, “The apprenticeship programme with DBS provides a unique and important opportunity for our students to work with and be mentored by DBS staff in a real-world environment. 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. We thank DBS for this engaging collaboration that will further open the possibility of exciting career choices and opportunities within DBS and the fintech sector.”

Mr 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. We hope that more companies will embark on similar initiatives to support ITE and polytechnic students to deepen their skillsets to take on tech roles and careers.”

About the DBS FinTech Apprenticeship Programme

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:

  • 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. To ensure that students get to learn from the industry’s leading experts, lecturers will be selected from the bank’s Distinguished Engineer Programme[2].
  • 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 AI/ML and blockchain have been reshaping banking and finance.
  • 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. Students could be placed in technical roles such as application development, AI/ML, data, and risk technology for their apprenticeships. Students will also need to complete at least 50 hours of structured learning and certification courses on the DBS Tech Academy, the bank’s in-house technology training institute.

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’ 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.

Chin Yi Bing, Senior Associate, Cybersecurity, DBS, joined the bank in 2016 as a fresh graduate from Singapore Polytechnic. “After receiving my Diploma in Infocomm Security Management, I joined the DBS cybersecurity team through what was then the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme. I have since been involved in many exciting projects to help make digital banking more secure for our customers, and with the mentorship and support of my colleagues, I was able to hone both my technical and soft skills to grow as a cybersecurity professional. It is said that skills are the new currency of the world, and I am convinced that having the right attitude and a growth mindset are crucial ingredients for anyone looking to develop a technology career.”

[1] Speech by Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong, 15 September 2022: https://www.mas.gov.sg/news/speeches/2022/itm-2025---forging-new-growth-pathways
[2] The DBS Distinguished Engineer Programme is a career track designed to build technical mastery and deep subject matter expertise amongst the bank’s technologists, and to groom the most promising technology engineers to become industry thought leaders in their respective domains.


About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 18 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Global Finance, “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney and “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia“ award by Global Finance for 14 consecutive years from 2009 to 2022.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets. DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, as it banks the Asian way. Through the DBS Foundation, the bank creates impact beyond banking by supporting social enterprises: businesses with a double bottom-line of profit and social and/or environmental impact. DBS Foundation also gives back to society in various ways, including equipping communities with future-ready skills and building food resilience.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. For more information, please visit  www.dbs.com.