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DBS and Novartis show commitment to protecting jobs amid COVID-19

DBS and Novartis show commitment to protecting jobs amid COVID-19

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Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, while many companies are forced to conduct layoffs and implement furloughs, DBS and Novartis Singapore have committed to creating and protecting jobs.

DBS commits to hiring more than 2,000 people in Singapore this year

On top of protecting the livelihoods of its 12,000-strong workforce in Singapore, DBS yesterday announced a new commitment to hire more than 2,000 this year.

In a media release, the bank said more than 1,000 are new roles comprising a mix of apprenticeships for fresh graduates as well as more specialised roles for seasoned professionals. At the same time, DBS is continuing it's annual internship programmes unabated.

In line with the bank's ongoing digitalisation efforts, more than a third (or over 360) new roles being created are for seasoned professionals in growth technology areas. They comprise more than 300 new jobs in the areas of UX/UI, data science, fraud detection compliance, as well as consumer and institutional banking technology.

Additionally, DBS is looking to train and hire over 60 people in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, full stack development and data analytics through a range of specialised talent development programmes, namely the Technology in Finance Immersion Programme (TFIP) and the TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) Mid-Career Advance, respectively. Both programmes aim to help seasoned professionals kickstart a technology career in financial services, with the TeSA Mid-Career Advance going a step further by reskilling those without a prior background in technology.

In addition, DBS is also recruiting more than 700 young talent in the following areas.

The bank expects to hire 200 people into specialised programmes, including: 

  • Graduate Associate programmes, which are designed to groom fresh graduates into future banking leaders
  • The Applied Wealth Management Track, which is open to students enrolled in Nanyang Business School’s Bachelor of Business programme
  • DBS’ Analytics Capability Enhancement Programme and Executive Management Associate Programme, which both cater to promising postgraduates.
  • Skill Enhancement Education and Development (SEED) programme supported by TeSA, which trains those with less than two years of experience so they can ultimately grow careers in roles such as development, DevOps and cybersecurity.

The remaining 500 hires will come from DBS' six to 12-month apprenticeships.

As one of the pioneer host companies participating in the SGUnited Traineeships Programme, the 500 apprenticeships will be offered to recent and upcoming graduates from universities, polytechnics, the Institute of Technical Education and other private educational institutions.

These apprenticeships allow young graduates to develop their skills professionally and gain valuable working experience, giving them a firmer foothold in the job market when the economy recovers. The apprenticeships also present young graduates the possibility of conversion to a permanent role.

Further, as part of its commitment to nurturing future generations of banking talent, DBS will also continue to run its internship programmes. This helps ensure that students have the opportunity to put their academic skills to the test in a real-world work environment. DBS expects to offer over 400 internship opportunities in 2020.

Finally, the Bank will continue to hire judiciously for other roles across the bank. It expects to make around 1,000 such hires in Singapore this year. Since the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore in February, DBS has already made close to 500 hires to fill roles in client advisory, data, digital, technology as well as risk and control.

In a nutshell, the bank is offering more than 2,400 total job opportunities and internships, broken down into: 

  • More than 1,000 new roles
  • 700 roles for recent graduates
  • 360 roles for seasoned professionals
  • 1,000 roles are business as usual hiring
  • 400 internship positions 

Piyush Gupta, CEO, DBS said: "Covid-19 has been devastating not only to global health, but also to economies and jobs. Job seekers, including fresh graduates this year, are understandably anxious about the dearth of opportunities available as companies tighten their belts. While DBS is also prudent in our outlook, as a key employer in Singapore, it seemed right to us to not just continue with hiring for business-as-usual activities but also to actively create new jobs where we can, so as to help more people tide through this difficult period. In particular, we want to do our part to avoid having a ‘lost’ generation of young graduates in Singapore whose career prospects are jeopardised because they are unable to find jobs due to the pandemic.” 

The new announcement follows an earlier pledge by the bank that it will protect the livelihoods of its 12,000-strong workforce in Singapore. The bank has reassured staff that there will be no layoffs. All employees, including branch staff who are unable to perform their duties because of temporary branch closures amid Circuit Breaker restrictions, continue to remain on full pay. In addition, employees facing a lull in work activity are encouraged to take the opportunity to upskill themselves through a comprehensive e-learning programme that DBS has in place. 

Novartis Singapore says no to retrenchments, returns S$3.7mn worth of JSS payouts to the government

Novartis Singapore has said no to any retrenchments and has returned S$3.7mn worth of JSS payouts to the government.

In a press release yesterday announcing a series of community efforts against COVID-19, the global medicines company said it has fully returned S$3.7mn worth of Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) payout to the Singapore government. The company has also declined to receive future payouts in May, July, and October 2020.

The decision to return and decline the payouts stem from Novartis' financially strong position which allows it to support its associates through the COVID-19 pandemic without government relief.

During the first quarter, COVID-19 did not have a material impact on Novartis' global underlying business, financial condition, cash collections or liquidity, Novartis pointed out in the press statement.

This decision follows Novartis global commitment to no retrenchments due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Country President of Novartis Singapore, Kevin Zou, said: "For Novartis, it was clear that returning the JSS payout is the right thing to do. This is a reflection of our integrity, our shared community spirit and ability to support employment during this period.

"During these challenging times, it is critical for us to stand together with the community. We hope by returning the full JSS payout, these resources will be re-directed to help more local businesses and communities in need."

Novartis Singapore has also committed to further support the Singapore community through the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has donated S$200,000 from the Novartis Global COVID-19 Response Fund to The Courage Fund, which will provide financial relief to vulnerable individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. In a joint-industry effort, the company has also supported an initiative by the Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries (SAPI) to donate masks, medical equipment and other essential items to hospitals during this pandemic.

With ensuring the safety and well-being of patients being one of Novartis' top priorities in its response to COVID-19, Novartis Singapore is also exploring ways to offer help to its local patient organisation partners. These include the provision of financial assistance, sharing of available online tools and leadership support resources to aid their efforts in delivering crucial educational, psycho-social and health navigation support to other patients in need.

Zou added: "Novartis is proud to support Singapore, our local communities and our associates during this unprecedented time. Through mobilising our R&D capabilities, medicines, clinical trials expertise and philanthropic aid, we remain committed to serving the needs of patients as we do our part to address the coronavirus pandemic."

 Photo / iStock

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

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