Standard Chartered opens Singapore lab to arm employees with digital skills

New training lab is a followup of the British bank's SG$5 million ($3.74 million) investment to boost the skillsets of its 8,000-strong local workforce, focusing on digital skillsets such as data analytics, blockchain, and artificial intelligence.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Standard Chartered (StanChart) is looking to boost the skillsets of its workforce in Singapore with the launch of a new training lab. The British bank hopes to train 8,000 of its employees here across a range of digital skillsets, including data analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and blockchain, by 2022. 

The new training facility is a followup on the company's plans to invest SG$5 million ($3.74 million) to enhance its local skillsets and drive its digitalisation and business growth plans. The majority of StanChart's global business leadership, technology, operations, and innovation hubs are located in Singapore, where strategy and product ideas are cultivated for global deployment, the bank said in a statement Thursday. 

Called diSCover Lab, the training site would offer both virtual and face-to-face coaching as well as an online inventory of "bite-sized" learning modules and curriculum that include AI, personal development, and blockchain. Training sessions span from a few hours to 18 months.

These programmes also would cater to an individual's full career lifespan including interns, fresh graduates, and senior staff, and employees would be able to pick up new skills that might not be directly related to their job role.

Specifically, the lab offers nine academies focusing on emerging skillsets such as data and analytics, cyber, digital, client advisory, and sustainable finance. These will prepare employees for future growth areas including digital banking, cybersecurity, data analytics, cloud, AI architecture, and API (application programming interface). 

StanChart also would work with tertiary institutions, government agencies, and other industry partners to hire and undergo training at the lab. 

One such academy, the aXess, tailored its curriculum to train more than 2,100 developers and engineers in Singapore, who underwent lessons on cloud transformation, API, cybersecurity, and customer digital journey. 

StanChart is looking to train all 8,000 employees in Singapore by 2022.

"As the external environment evolves rapidly, putting in place a robust infrastructure of support and resources alone is not enough. It is important for people to have an open mindset and take the initiative to reskill to remain relevant in this digital age," said the bank, which set up its first Singapore branch in 1859. It currently operates 16 branches here. 

Singapore on Friday said it would issue four digital bank licences, one fewer than the five it was originally expected to award. The consortium comprising Grab and Singtel as well as Sea were issued digital full bank licences. while Ant and another consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong, and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management would be given digital wholesale bank licences. 

The digital bank licensees are expected to begin operations from early-2022. 


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