During the launch of the Cambridge Summer School programme, Bank Negara Malaysia governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim stated that the Malaysian banking industry allocates around 3% of employee payroll for its annual training expenditure on average.
Despite the importance of prioritising and channelling greater resources towards talent development, this figure puts Malaysia below the global benchmark with international comparisons of around 4% and 4.5%. Datuk Ibrahim commented: "The Malaysian banking industry's allocation for training and development is still below the global benchmark."
Highlighting the importance of the quality of training, he added: "In my mind, this begins with transforming existing corporate learning systems to enable continuous lifelong learning and ongoing skill acquisition."
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He also expressed his opinion on how the banking sector should have an ever-ready learning system which empowers talent to take ownership of self-development, and diversify from the traditional form of structured learning that only took place at rigid fixed intervals.
He stated: "Aspiring talents ought to be empowered to personalise learning content, according to individual preference and pace.”
"Knowledge should be accessible to all who seek to learn, learning should take place at any time, and should be democratised," he said. Datuk Ibrahim added that human capital investment must adapt and evolve with its operating environment.
On another note, the governor also mentioned that less than 1% of the SME’s financing approvals were directed to new growth areas. In fact, financing remains largely in traditionally economic sectors.
"While up to 74% of financial sector talent is high-skilled, financing future industries for long-term economic growth requires us to think ahead with new and fresh perspectives,” he said.
Additionally, he remarked on the need for talent that can identify and distill the needs and risks of these new growth areas. For that to happen, he recommended banks to recruit and develop not only conventional bankers but also software engineers, data scientists and technology strategists.