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OCBC Bank rolls out comprehensive sustainability training as it adds more than 50 new jobs in ESG push

OCBC Bank rolls out comprehensive sustainability training as it adds more than 50 new jobs in ESG push

  • 08 Jul 2021

OCBC Bank has launched a comprehensive suite of sustainability training modules as part of a structured approach to groom more subject experts within the Bank as it accelerates its sustainability push. This is part of the second phase of OCBC Future Smart Programme, launched today by its Group CEO Helen Wong for its 30,000 employees with an investment of $30 million over the next three years.

In the past two years, more than 50 sustainability-related jobs have been created within the Bank across areas such as sustainable business development, sustainable product development, sustainability research, ESG assessment, ESG reporting, ESG regulatory and compliance, sustainable stewardship, and community development and environment conservation programmes.

More than 20 training modules on sustainability have been co-developed with sustainability experts within the Bank and across the external ecosystem. The design of the modules is shaped by the Bank’s Sustainability Framework and ESG factors which have been identified to be material, such as carbon footprint and neutrality, sustainable financing and investing, and community development and environment conservation. The modules will cover both key concepts and the practical aspects of sustainability so that employees have a deeper understanding of sustainability as well as how to apply it into their roles.

Through modules such as “Sustainability, ESGs and OCBC’s Commitment”, “Sustainable Finance & Business Ecosystems”, “Sustainable Business Models”, “Climate Risk & Banking”, and “Stewarding for the Future”, employees will gain deeper insight into what they can do as stewards in the industry and the world at large. These modules will also equip employees with technical expertise to manage sustainability-related transactions, and design new products and innovations with a sustainability focus and enable effective engagement with customers to transition to a more sustainable world.

The training modules are extended to all 30,000 employees across the OCBC Group, including employees in its overseas operations such as Malaysia, Indonesia, China and Hong Kong.

Preparing employees for what jobs would be like in the future

The updated sustainability curriculum is part of the OCBC Future Smart Programme, the Bank’s strategic initiative to upskill and reskill all its 30,000 employees for work of the future. The Programme was first launched in 2018 with a commitment of $20 million over three years. This next phase of the OCBC Future Smart Programme is backed by an investment of S$30 million over the next three years.

Through this initiative, learning programmes covering the seven pillars of Future Smart across 4 proficiency levels – Awareness Literacy, Practitioner, and Mastery – were designed to leave no employee behind as the world and OCBC transforms.

Since the launch of the OCBC Future Smart Programme, a total of 1,900 programmes have been developed and offered to employees group wide, with more than 178,000 programme completions. More than 23,000 employees have also achieved a higher level of digital foundation.

About half of OCBC Bank employees in Singapore have embarked on dedicated learning roadmaps designed by the Bank’s Learning & Development team in collaboration with business units. These roadmaps are highly customised and serve to develop the Bank’s current and future talent pool.

Ten Certification Pathways, designed in response to business demands and in line with industry standards, aim to prepare OCBC Bank employees for new or enhanced roles. Together with the Bank’s subject matter experts, Institutes of Higher Learning, and practitioners in the field, these highly contextualised programmes incorporate world-class practice and coaching from industry practitioners. This unique methodology allows any employee, regardless of background or starting point to partake in the programme and attain an industry-recognised certification at the end of programme. The Certification Pathways cover domains of high demand, such as data analytics, product and experience design, process improvement, risk and more. More than 1,300 employees across the Group have taken these certification programmes.

Deepening skillsets and increasing learning opportunities

The Bank has refined its Future Smart framework after identifying persistent global trends that have significant impact on its workforce and business. These include increasing global connectedness emphasising the need for more collaboration, agility, and diversity; the emergence of new ecosystems leading to new business models and strategy; harnessing technology that is dominating the way we work and communicate; redefinition of customer experience as a result of demographic changes; stiffer competition for talents with new skills; as well as sustainability, one of the biggest challenges facing global economies.

Increased autonomy for employees in a rapidly changing world

Central to the second phase of the OCBC Future Smart Programme is the Bank’s drive to increase autonomy in learning. OCBC Bank aims to achieve this vision through the proliferation of learning opportunities for all, creation of contents from the ground-up, and renewing policies and processes to promote a strong learning organisation.

Over the last three years, the learning infrastructure, policies and processes at the OCBC Group has been updated to strengthen the foundation for a strong learning culture.

All employees are empowered to take ownership of their professional and personal development. Programmes on the Bank’s learning platform on both desktop and mobile have been enhanced to make learning accessible to all employees.

In the last three years, more than 1,100 user-generated creations have been offered on the Bank’s learning platform.

Mr Jason Ho, OCBC Bank’s Head of Group Human Resources, said: “Major change is afoot on the job front and roles that are available today may no longer be needed or will be significantly disrupted tomorrow. The OCBC Future Smart Programme was created to upskill or reskill every employee to stay relevant for the future workplace.”

“While technology and digital skills are the prevailing skillsets that most employees would require in the future, other areas such as sustainability and even the ‘softer’ skills such as emotional and mental wellness, collaboration, agility and critical thinking are equally important aspects in developing a well-rounded employee.”

Mr Ho added: “New threats to the business emerge continuously. We are confident that as long as we continue to learn, un-learn and re-learn as an organisation, we will be able to turn threats into opportunities. By investing in our people, equipping them with the competencies and mindset, we empower them to be resilient.”


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