New centre will offer career guidance to finance professionals

IBF Careers Connect is open to the public and career coaching services are offered free of charge.
IBF Careers Connect is open to the public and career coaching services are offered free of charge.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - When bank service manager Amy Ong Siaw Hua began a digital training course in January, her aim was to help elderly people who frequent the United Overseas Bank (UOB) branch at Ang Mo Kio where she works.

"For some elderly, it's quite inconvenient for them to come to the bank," said Ms Ong, 58, who completed her training last month. "I want to help them learn how to check their balances (electronically), instead of (them) coming to the bank where the queues might be long."

During the 96-hour course, Ms Ong, who has been with UOB for 38 years, learnt how to encourage customers to use electronic banking, among other skills.

To help more finance professionals stay relevant to the industry, the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) launched a new career centre which aims to help them plan their careers on Wednesday (Aug 1).

The centre will help finance professionals pick up the skills they need to progress in their career, said IBF chairman Ravi Menon.

"Technology is transforming the financial industry," said Mr Menon, who is also MAS managing director. "Some new jobs are being created, some old ones displaced, while most jobs are being transformed."

He said that the finance and fintech sectors had generated some 7,800 jobs over the past two years.

Mr Menon added: "Although the financial sector is creating jobs... there is a tremendous amount of churn, and financial industry professionals are moving into and out of jobs in large numbers.

"Looking ahead, we expect a higher frequency of job changes throughout a person's career in the financial industry. This is the new reality."

During the launch, Education Minister Ong Ye Kung said that the centre will bring together efforts across the financial industry, unions and government to provide a one-stop integrated approach to career advice, job matching and skills development.

"We want to be able to intervene early and facilitate professional conversion," he added.

The IBF is the national accreditation and certification agency for financial industry competency in Singapore.

The new centre currently has three full-time career coaches who will help clients learn about jobs in the financial sector and what they need to learn to be considered for them, said IBF chief executive Ng Nam Sin.

IBF Careers Connect is open to the public and career coaching services are offered free of charge for Singapore citizens and permanent residents.

Appointments may be made by e-mail at ibfcareersconnect@ibf.org.sg or calling the hotline on 6305 5666. The centre also accepts walk-ins.

awcw@sph.com.sg