160 banks in Singapore commit to inclusive hiring, re-skilling staff in face of tech disruption

The latest HR advisory also states that banks must conduct any retrenchment exercise "responsibly", and work with tripartite partners to support affected employees.
The latest HR advisory also states that banks must conduct any retrenchment exercise "responsibly", and work with tripartite partners to support affected employees. ST PHOTO: ALVIN HO

SINGAPORE - Some 160 banks under the Association of Banks in Singapore (ABS) will adhere to a new set of HR practices that calls for banks here to be inclusive in their hiring choices, and to re-skill their staff so they can move into new jobs in the face of technological disruption.

The latest HR advisory, launched on Wednesday (March 14), also states that banks must conduct any retrenchment exercise "responsibly", and work with tripartite partners to support affected employees.

The aim is to build a "strong Singapore core" of talent in the financial sector. In being inclusive, banks are meant to hire based on skills required to perform in the job, rather than set a strict minimum number of years of experience or just hire on paper qualifications alone.

"Difficult as it may be, business as usual is not an option," said Senior Minister of State for Law and Finance Indranee Rajah at the launch.

"As things stand, we are seeing two very contrasting phenomena - in 'hot' areas such as IT, there is a shortage of skilled talent, for instance, in data analytics and cyber security. On the other hand, we also know that firms could end up with surplus staff as they look to digitise and automate various aspects of their businesses."

The HR advisory was developed jointly by ABS, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Ministry of Manpower, the National Trades Union Congress, and the Singapore National Employers Federation.

The government aims to create 3,000 net jobs every year in financial services alone. Another 1,000 net jobs per annum is targeted to be created in the fintech sector. The job creation target was set last year under the Financial Services Industry Transformation Map.