Hong Kong boasts of a thriving fintech scene with a dynamic environment that can help fintech start-ups to scale up and expand.
Hong Kong has also been recognised by KPMG as one of the leading technology hubs outside Silicon Valley. However, to ensure that it remains a top fintech hub, it is important for Hong Kong to have a fintech-savvy workforce that can meet the skills and competencies needed by the fintech industry.
The HKMA, understanding this, has since included a mission to expand a fintech-savvy workforce as one of five focus areas under the Hong Kong Fintech 2025 Strategy. This article explores the initiatives to groom fintech talent.
FCAS Gap Year Placement Programme
The Fintech Career Accelerator Scheme (FCAS) Gap Year Placement programme was launched in collaboration with partnering institutions such as the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) and the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI).
Through this gap-year internship programme, interns will have the opportunity to work on fintech projects at the HKMA, banks (including virtual banks), or stored value facility operators for a duration of six months or one year.
The programme is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students from the engineering, law, science, computer sciences, business, and finance disciplines who are interested to learn about fintech.
In addition to grooming upcoming fintech talent by exposing them to hands-on industry experience, this programme also gives fintech companies an opportunity to identify and subsequently hire suitable talents.
Shenzhen Summer Internship Programme
The HKMA also collaborated with the Shenzhen’s Office of Financial Development Service (OFDS) to launch the Shenzhen Summer Internship Programme. Through this programme, students from tertiary institutions in Hong Kong will have internship opportunities at leading fintech firms in Shenzhen. The six-weeks programme also includes exclusive events tailored for these students to experience the fintech ecosystem in Shenzhen.
The Cyberport University Partnership Programme (Entrepreneurship Boot Camp)
This is a fintech-focused entrepreneurship programme for students who are nominated by the Cyberport University Partnership Programme (CUPP) university partners. Through this programme, these students will have the opportunity to participate in an entrepreneurship boot camp and receive mentorship from industry elites.
Fresh Graduate Programme
Through this programme, both HKSTP and Cyberport, encourage their fintech tenants to hire fresh or recent graduates on a full-time basis. This is also a collaboration with HKMA and ASTRI who provide these graduates with the relevant regulatory updates and technical training, respectively.
AoF Leadership Programme
The AoF Leadership Development Programme is conducted by the Centre for Financial Leadership Development (CFLD), a unit under the Hong Kong Academy of Finance (AoF).
Through this programme, leaders and industry experts are invited to share their perspectives and insights during seminar series and workshops. The programme aims to foster leadership, broaden its members’ global and interdisciplinary perspectives as well as help them to expand their professional network.
Enhanced Competency Framework (Fintech Module)
The HKMA also aims to launch a fintech module for the Enhanced Competency Framework (ECF) to brush up on the professional competencies of existing banking practitioners. The module is expected to be launched by the end of 2021. The ECF will be implemented by the HKMA through a collaboration with the banking industry and relevant professional bodies.
Industry Project Masters Network
Through the Industry Project Masters Network (IPMN) initiative, postgraduate students will have internship opportunities and gain practical experience in fintech areas such as artificial intelligence (AI) and federated learning. The IPMN is a collaboration between the fintech industry and local universities in Hong Kong.
Fintech labs in Hong Kong
Additionally, fintech innovation labs are also key to building a strong fintech-savvy workforce by providing a space that encourages collaborative innovation among diverse participants. Among the notable fintech innovation labs in Hong Kong are such as Standard Chartered’s eXellerator and AMTD Fintech Centre.
Other Initiatives in Hong Kong
Apart from the above, the HKMA also launched the Year-Round Fintech Internship Programme to provide information on fintech internship opportunities throughout the year for students who are interested.
Additionally, the MIT Entrepreneurship and Fintech Integrator (MEFTI), a 10-day fintech start-up boot camp for MIT and local university students, gives students an opportunity to prepare themselves to be future fintech entrepreneurs.
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