DBS and SSG partner to help SMEs develop sustainability capability and capacity to thrive in the green economy

Singapore.16 Oct 2023

Collaboration expands on DBS’ successful first year as a SkillsFuture Queen Bee

DBS will enhance its SME Skills Booster Programme to support SMEs on sustainability skills

Singapore, 16 Oct 2023 - DBS and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) today announced a new two-year collaboration under the SkillsFuture Queen Bee initiative to boost sustainability capability and capacity via the enhanced DBS SME Skills Booster Programme. The partnership aims to help meet a growing demand for green skills among small and medium enterprises (SMEs), which has increased by about 140 per cent annually in recent years.

As more businesses embed sustainable practices into their operations, many existing jobs will require an added dimension of green skills such as the design and implementation of sustainability plans. Other skills include how to set, measure, track and report on environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance metrics in line with evolving compliance and reporting requirements.

Courses will be offered under the DBS BusinessClass Academy and its partners. Additional courses on banking and finance, digital transformation, and cyber wellness will also be featured as part of a holistic approach to strengthen overall business resilience. Moving forward, companies will also be able to access DBS’ ESG Ready initiative[1], which aims to help SMEs move towards achieving independent assurance in sustainability.

The programme builds on DBS’ successful first year as a SkillsFuture Queen Bee. Since its appointment in July 2022, over 130 employees from some 80 SMEs have been trained in areas such as digitalisation and workplace learning. The feedback from companies was overwhelmingly positive – about 97% of survey respondents said they achieved their objectives of knowledge building and skills acquisition after completing the courses.

Tan Kok Yam, SSG Chief Executive, said: “All enterprises will increasingly need to address ESG considerations. New capabilities are required for ESG accounting, and for implementing sustainable business practices. It is thus very timely for DBS and SSG to refresh our partnership, to better support SMEs in building a skilled workforce that can ride the green transition and help to achieve our Singapore Green Plan 2030.”

Koh Kar Siong, Group Head of Corporate and SME Banking, Institutional Banking, DBS, said: “SMEs account for 99% of all enterprises[2] in Singapore, and their ability to embrace sustainability will be key to creating a sustainable future here and in the region. This is why helping companies learn and upskill in the sustainability space is a key priority for DBS, and we are honoured to be working with SSG again to help deliver the SME Skills Booster Programme for another two years.”

Nicole Goh, General Manager of seafood supplier Imperial Premium Seafood attended a sustainability masterclass organised by DBS. She plans to further upskill herself and her sustainability team through the DBS SME Skills Booster Programme.

“Sustainability skills will give us an edge in the market, and also help us embed best practices into our business operations. We are especially keen to learn more about how to accurately calculate our carbon footprint and other reporting requirements, in light of changing regulations. We look forward to continuing our sustainability skills development with DBS SME Skills Booster,” she said.

To find out more the DBS’ SME Skills Booster Programme, visit www.dbs.com.sg/sme/businessclass/sme-skills-booster-programme



About DBS
DBS is a leading financial services group in Asia with a presence in 19 markets. Headquartered and listed in Singapore, DBS is in the three key Asian axes of growth: Greater China, Southeast Asia and South Asia. The bank's "AA-" and "Aa1" credit ratings are among the highest in the world.

Recognised for its global leadership, DBS has been named “World’s Best Bank” by Global Finance, “World’s Best Bank” by Euromoney and “Global Bank of the Year” by The Banker. The bank is at the forefront of leveraging digital technology to shape the future of banking, having been named “World’s Best Digital Bank” by Euromoney and the world’s “Most Innovative in Digital Banking” by The Banker. In addition, DBS has been accorded the “Safest Bank in Asia” award by Global Finance for 15 consecutive years from 2009 to 2023.

DBS provides a full range of services in consumer, SME and corporate banking. As a bank born and bred in Asia, DBS understands the intricacies of doing business in the region’s most dynamic markets.

DBS is committed to building lasting relationships with customers, as it banks the Asian way. Through the DBS Foundation, the bank creates impact beyond banking by supporting social enterprises: businesses with a double bottom-line of profit and social and/or environmental impact. DBS Foundation also gives back to society in various ways, including equipping communities with future-ready skills and building food resilience.

With its extensive network of operations in Asia and emphasis on engaging and empowering its staff, DBS presents exciting career opportunities. For more information, please visit www.dbs.com.

About SkillsFuture Singapore

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) drives and coordinates the implementation of the national SkillsFuture movement, promotes a culture of lifelong learning and strengthens the ecosystem of training and adult education in Singapore. Through a holistic suite of national SkillsFuture initiatives, SSG enables Singaporeans to take charge of their learning journey in their pursuit of skills mastery. SSG also works with key stakeholders to ensure that students and adults have access to high quality and industry-relevant training that meet the demands of different sectors of the economy for an innovative and productive workforce. For more information, visit www.ssg.gov.sg. www.ssg.gov.sg