Older workers

National Day Rally 2019: More employable with new skills

Ms Nahariah Mohd Nor's job as a customer service officer now involves monitoring video teller machines from an operations room rather than bank-teller work at a DBS branch. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urges other firms to emulate DBS in helping th
Ms Nahariah Mohd Nor's job as a customer service officer now involves monitoring video teller machines from an operations room rather than bank-teller work at a DBS branch. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong urges other firms to emulate DBS in helping their staff retrain for new roles.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION

When DBS bank teller Nahariah Mohd Nor was offered retraining in 2017 to take on a new role as a customer service officer, she was apprehensive. The new job would involve monitoring video teller machines and she did not know if she could adapt to it.

But Ms Nahariah, now 47, decided to give it a go when DBS said she could go back to a branch if things did not work out after six months.

She ended up with new skills that made her more employable.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong cited her job transition during the National Day Rally yesterday, saying that workers must be ready to adapt and take on different responsibilities as jobs evolve.

He also urged other firms to emulate DBS in helping their staff retrain for new roles.

"Reskilling ourselves must start early, even when we are in our 40s and 50s," he said. "If you do it, then you will have useful skills... as you near retirement age."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 19, 2019, with the headline 'More employable with new skills'. Print Edition | Subscribe