Standard Chartered Bank has launched a new learning hub named “diSCover Lab” in Singapore to boost job readiness, career prospects and future competitiveness of the Singapore workforce. Housed at Standard Chartered @ Changi 1, the diSCover Lab provides a flexible learning environment. It is also said to offer end-to-end learning solutions catered to the entire spectrum of a career cycle, from interns to work-study trainees, fresh graduates, mid-careerists, and “silver” employees.

According to a press release, the hub takes on a hybrid approach of virtual and face-to-face training, as well as via “diSCover”, where employees can access a multitude of bite-sized learning modules and curriculum, from blockchain to data, artificial intelligence (AI) and personal development. The launch of the hub follows the bank’s SG$5 million investment, to upskill and strengthen its Singapore workforce, and support its digitalisation and business growth plans.

The diSCover Lab will focus on future growth areas such as digital banking, international banking, cyber-information security, data solutions, analytics, cloud, and AI architect. It also brings together nine Future Skills academies under one roof – namely aXess, data and analytics, cyber, digital, new ways of working, client advisory, leadership, human and sustainable. To ensure a pipeline of talent in these future roles, Standard Chartered will also work with tertiary institutions, government workforce agencies as well as industry partners to hire and undergo training at the diSCover Lab.

With the diSCover Lab, bank employees can choose to upgrade their current skill sets or pick up new skills that may not be directly related to their immediate job role but are passionate about. The duration of each learning module or accredited training programme can range from a few hours to 18 months, catering flexibly to the employees’ schedules, aspirations and training needs.

Additionally, Standard Chartered plans to ramp up its International Graduate Programme in Singapore, hiring local talent from some of the leading engineering colleges and training institutes to join their technology and innovation team based in Singapore and work on global projects and assignments. Participants of the programme will attend a six-week bootcamp, which will provide real-world applications to technology skills, exposure to senior technology leaders across the bank, and experiment with various banking technology.

Complementing its recruitment efforts, Standard Chartered will also partner tech giants such as Microsoft and IBM, and is already working on existing programmes including SGUnited, and Institute of Banking and Finance to build a local tech talent pipeline.

Michael Gorriz, group chief information officer at Standard Chartered Bank, said Singapore is a very important location for the bank in its global footprint, and the technology headquarters for its technology and innovation organisation. It is thus “critical” that the bank deepens its tech capabilities in Singapore and build the latest skills which prepare it for the future of banking, while offering clients the best solutions and experiences. Additionally, Gorriz said Singapore is home to excellent universities and training institutions which provide a pipeline of tech talents which can be groomed to be the next generation of technologists.

There has been an increase in companies looking to train more Singaporeans in digitalisation skills. Earlier this year,  IBM and SkillsFuture Singapore tied up to introduce "", a skills programme targeted at mid-career professionals as part of SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme - Company Trainings. The new skills programme comprises two tracks - AI and cybersecurity. Meanwhile in August, DBS Bank collaborated with Amazon Web Services to launch DBS x AWS DeepRacer League in a bid to equip its employees with fundamental skills in AI and machine learning. Through the initiative, DBS expects at least 3,000 employees, including the bank’s senior leadership, to learn new AI and machine-learning skills in 2020. 

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