United Overseas Bank (UOB) has announced the expansion of its Group-wide learning and development programme, Better U, to enable its employees to master skillsets in data analytics and project management, two areas it says are essential to future employability.

In its announcement, the Bank shared that according to research by the Institute of Banking and Finance Singapore (IBF) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore, data analytics will augment or transform 90% of jobs in the financial sector within the next five years. Similarly, project management skills will continue to be sought after in the future of work.

Thus, it added, given the criticality of these two skillsets, the Bank is "making it possible for its people to specialise in these areas and to stay ahead of industry developments."

In this next level of the programme, Better U is open to all UOB employees who have completed the mandatory foundational modules, which develop competencies in five core areas – growth mindset, problem-solving, digital awareness, human-centred design and data storytelling. More than 8,000 employees have completed the foundational modules thus far and, by the first half of 2021, the Bank expects that number to almost double to 15,000 employees.

Addressing employees in a virtual launch event for the second level, Wee Ee Cheong, UOB Deputy Chairman and CEO, said the programme has inspired 96% of participants to continue developing their skills, while 98% have said they are committed to applying their learnings in their roles.

What's in store for participants of the Better U programme

According to the Bank, while it is kickstarting the second level with the data analytics and project management tracks this year, it plans to expand the specialised tracks in other areas such as cybersecurity, human-centred user experience and user interface design by 2023.

Meanwhile, both the data analytics and project management tracks feature three progressive stages, which are fully-digital and designed to be in bite-sized content, so employees can go through them at their own pace and convenience.

Each stage will enable participants to learn and to acquire skills based on their level of experience and knowledge, thereby ensuring that the training is meaningful to those employees who are upskilling, or to practitioners who feel the need to upskill themselves in their chosen discipline.

In creating and curating the curriculum, UOB tapped insights from subject-matter experts across the Bank such as its technologists and data masters to ensure that these specialised skills development tracks are practical and can be applied in a real-world setting.

Photo / UOB 

Human Resources Online is on Telegram! Follow us @humanresourcesonline or click here for all the latest weekly HR and manpower news from around the region.