DBS launches new innovative learning centre
The 40,000 square feet DBS Academy will focus on “future-proofing” employees; equipping them with digital skill sets
Over the last five years, DBS has made significant investments in strategic technology initiatives to weave banking into the everyday life of its customers so that they can spend more time on people or things that they care about. As the digital revolution redefines the banking industry, DBS is also committed to equip employees with the relevant skills and mindsets to help them navigate a fast-changing landscape.
Spanning 40,000 square feet, the DBS Academy sets a new benchmark for innovative learning spaces and approaches in the region. Employees will be encouraged to embrace a digital mindset through experiential learning and experimentation. The DBS Academy conducts over 10,000 training sessions each year and employees have access to a wide selection of courses, such as scenario-based leadership development programmes and digital master classes.
One of the highlights at the new DBS Academy is the state-of-the-art consumer banking simulation branch where employees will have access to the latest technology that makes banking more seamless for its customers and through hands-on learning, become more familiar with digital tools that can help them deliver greater value to customers.
Said Peter Seah, Chairman of DBS Bank, “Over the last 50 years, Singapore has built an impeccable reputation as an Asian financial hub. At DBS, we believe in growing our own talent, developing our people not just for present needs, but for future ones as well. This is not only important for the bank, but for the industry as a whole as competition intensifies. We need to promote continuous learning in order to build a future-ready workforce and a strong talent pool that will help shape the future of DBS and the future of banking.”
The DBS Academy takes on special meaning as it is completed in Singapore’s 50th year of independence, furthering the bank’s commitment to help Singapore build on its position as the region’s knowledge hub. The number of training days undertaken by DBS employees has increased by 30% to 133,000 days this year compared to 102,000 days in 2013, above industry standards.
In line with the government’s SkillsFuture drive and in the spirit of continuous learning, DBS will also introduce a new programme, “DBS SkillsFlex”, where all Singapore employees ranked Senior Associates and below will receive SGD500 DBS SkillsFlex Credit annually. On top of the 10,000 courses in the SkillsFuture Credit Course Directory, these employees will be able to participate in 50 courses customised for DBS by NTUC Learning Hub. The courses cover topics that are especially relevant to today’s rapidly changing landscape including social intelligence, computational thinking and new media literacy.
These initiatives are part of DBS’ holistic approach to people development, promoting continuous learning and an innovative mindset at every level. The DBS Academy is a key component that underscores DBS’ commitment to build a future-ready workforce and a strong talent pool for the finance industry.
The push towards creating an innovative mindset among employees is not new for DBS. Since 2010, employees have actively led and participated in projects to simplify banking for customers. To challenge existing models and thinking, DBS was also the first bank to incorporate hackathons into its talent development programme. During the hackathons, employees work with startups to create prototypes that address real business problems. This enables them to gain exposure to the FinTech culture, the agile methodology and other digital working concepts.
Employees can also leverage research and analytics experts from A*STAR and SMU in jointly established research labs to develop new and innovative products and services. In September 2015, when the bank launched the DBS HotSpot Pre-accelerator, a three-month programme to help digital startups grow their concepts into prototypes, a group of DBS intrapreneurs were given the opportunity to go on paid sabbatical to work on their prototypes. This year, the bank is also running over 1,000 experiments and prototypes.
DBS Academy 1: DPM Tharman and DBS senior management celebrated the opening of DBS Academy in front of the kinetic sculpture depicting the DBS logo
DBS Academy 2: DPM Tharman explored prototypes developed by DBS staff
DBS Academy 3: DBS staff shared their experiences of participating in the hackathons with DPM Tharman
DBS Academy 4: DPM Tharman watched a role-play at the new simulation branch at DBS Academy