Constant learning needed as financial sector continues to evolve
In her 20 years of working at United Overseas Bank (UOB), senior vice-president of group finance and corporate services Sharon Tan, 51, has never stopped learning.
When she made the switch to finance-related roles after 10 years in technology, she went to the library and scoured the web to pick up relevant knowledge on her own accord.
During the circuit breaker, she saw an opportunity to enrol herself in a six-week digital strategy course. And when UOB rolled out a professional conversion programme called UOB Finance Academy in August to impart technical and soft skills to 230 employees, Ms Tan went on board without hesitation.
The mother of three, who is also working towards becoming a certified associate coach to better guide the next generation, told The New Paper: "Often, I'm on one course or another.
"Because the world has changed so much, a lot of what we know from the past is now pretty much obsolete.
"I'm without doubt that my role at the bank will continue evolving. My eldest child is also working in a bank and she is starting to be exposed to digital banking. It is a whole new era."
"In time to come, I could be the one learning from her."
Yesterday, Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing said skills development is one of two key enablers Singapore must work on to strengthen its position as a leading financial hub, with progressive regulations being the other enabler.
While the financial services sector has done well amid the pandemic, growing 4.7 per cent in the first three quarters of the year, disruption in the sector will continue, if not accelerate, Mr Chan said.
Highlighting three major shifts - digitalisation, the need to serve markets outside Singapore, and the increased intersection between finance and other adjacent sectors - Mr Chan said: "If we do these three things well, then we have every confidence we will be able to stand out... leveraging our brand of trust and as a safe harbour."
In its final jobs report of the year, the Manpower Ministry said financial institutions here expect to continue hiring even though the economic recovery has been uncertain. In the first half of this year, 1,900 financial services jobs were created, all of which went to locals.