Financial services sector actively reskilling and redeploying staff

Office workers crossing the junction of McCallum Street and Cecil Street. PHOTO: ST FILE

We refer to the letters from Mr Sarvjeet Sharma (Banking revolution may be bad news for employees, July 6) and Dr Patrick Liew Siow Gian (Add value to roles that cannot be managed by technology, July 9) commenting on the growing use of technology and its impact on jobs.

Technology is reshaping the way products and services are produced and consumed. To stay competitive, businesses have no choice but to harness technology so that they can serve their customers better. The financial services industry is no different.

A recent study commissioned by the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Institute of Banking and Finance found that data analytics and automation will substantially change the nature of financial services sector job roles. Many roles will benefit from the reduction or elimination of manual and repetitive tasks, allowing workers to focus on higher value work. But some roles could be displaced.

The correct response to the growing role of technology is not to avoid it but to equip our workers so that they can take on the higher value job roles that technology will enable. Workforce Singapore has been working with other government agencies, the labour movement, and employers to reskill and redeploy workers under initiatives like the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP). Last year, about 30,000 job-seekers secured jobs through the PCP and other programmes under the Adapt and Grow initiative.

The financial industry is actively participating in this initiative to support and reskill its workers. For example, many bank tellers, whose job roles have been impacted by technology, have since been reskilled and redeployed as digital ambassadors, video tellers, customer service officers, and even chatbot trainers. Over the past two years, 19 financial institutions have committed to retrain about 4,000 staff under the PCP. About 1,700 workers have started this journey, and so far about 800 have successfully moved into new roles.

We will continue with our efforts to help job-seekers reskill and move into new jobs. At the same time, individuals must take ownership of their own learning and development and be willing to seize the opportunities that arise.

Singapore is still in the early stages of workforce transformation, but the results to-date are encouraging.

Jerome Lee

Director (Corporate Communications)

Monetary Authority of Singapore

Aaron Lye

Director (Corporate Marketing and Communications)

Workforce Singapore

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 12, 2019, with the headline Financial services sector actively reskilling and redeploying staff. Subscribe