The OCBC Group announced today that it plans to identify and hire 1,500 tech talents to fill in-demand positions over the next three years.
The roles to be filled are in areas such as application development, cyber security, data science and artificial intelligence. These are areas that OCBC Bank will be ramping up as it accelerates its digital transformation to elevate customer experience and create greater value for our customers. The majority of these roles will be based in Singapore, with the rest in overseas entities in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Mr Lim Khiang Tong, Group Chief Operating Officer (COO), OCBC Bank, said, “Accelerating digital transformation is a key pillar under the OCBC Group’s 3-year corporate strategy refresh, which aims to drive growth and reinforce core strengths. To intensify our digital transformation, it is important that we have the right workforce to support this, not just in terms of size, but also in terms of quality.
Hiring an additional 1,500 is just part of our efforts to drive transformation for operational and business excellence. The development of our existing workforce in the area of digitalisation is another part and will encompass technology staff as well as others in the bank.”
Programmes to develop tech talent
A number of programmes have been rolled out to develop OCBC Group’s workforce in the area of digital proficiency over the years.
In 2018, the OCBC Future Smart Programme was launched to train and develop the digital skills of all our employees globally over the period of three years (2018 – 2020) with an initial investment of $20 million. It was the largest-scale and most ambitious digital transformation initiative by a Singapore bank. During that period, a total of 1,900 programmes were developed and offered to employees, with more than 178,000 completions. Over 23,000 employees also achieved a higher level of digital proficiency.
Amongst the programmes that were rolled out were the Data Certification Pathway and the Cyber Certification Pathway, which provide participants in-depth training in data analytics and cybersecurity over 18 months, with weekly lessons. The Data Certification Pathway is accredited by the Institute of Banking and Finance, the national accreditation body for financial industry in Singapore. More than 200 staff have completed both pathways.
In another initiative to upskill and reskill employees at OCBC, about 550 staff from Operations will be retrained and redeployed into new or enhanced roles by the end of this year, after completing the Career Conversion Programme.
Over the last five years, the investment in the training and development of employees in technology functions has also increased. Compared to 2018, the committed investment in 2022 is seven times higher. This year, a new e-learning platform was introduced to tech employees, granting access to over 2,000 courses to be kept updated with new skills in software development, cloud computing, machine learning and AI.
Nurturing future tech talents
OCBC is committed to nurturing tech talents of the future and contributing to Singapore’s talent pipeline.
In March this year, the pioneer batch of about 20 students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic started their 1-year internship with OCBC Bank. Through the internship, the third-year Diploma in Information Technology students will deepen understanding of the financial sector, develop industry-current tech skills, and amass real-world work experience early, all of which will ready them for the workplace upon graduation. Each student’s internship plan will be curated according to their strengths and interests, which could include data visualisation, machine learning, cloud technologies or mobile app development.
In 2019, OCBC also launched a postgraduate Artificial Intelligence (AI) scholarship, the first to be offered by a Singapore company and the first by any bank in Asia. Worth up to $100,000 each, scholars will work at the OCBC AI Lab for 12 to 18 months, where they will participate in and contribute to the test-bedding, deploying and scaling-up of bank-wide AI solutions.