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Find out more about BNP Paribas’ decision to build a campus in Singapore from James Gibson, head of HR (APAC), Angelo Pinto, regional head of L&D and head of the APAC campus, and Theresa Ho, head of human resources (SEA).

Singapore – In an Asia Pacific context, today’s talent are looking for a true career path. Perhaps more so in this region than in any other part of the world, there is a clear requirement to develop career skills, be it technical or personal.

“The BNP Paribas Asia Pacific Campus is a demonstration of our commitment to the region, and we are very proud of it. The campus is pivotal in supporting our goal of investing in our people in terms of employees’ careers and learning,” James Gibson, head of HR (APAC) at BNP Paribas, says.

The campus is a S$24 million investment, and the bank is looking to develop 62 courses and train 3,200 people per annum.

“We’ve discovered there are a number of training and learning and development paths out there, be it in France or Italy. What we’ve done is to ensure we’ve picked those parts that are most appropriate to Asia Pacific,  and designed it into specific programmes targeted at developing  talent in the region.”

This means employees have the advantage of working for a global institution, which has taken the time to build a campus and ensure they have high quality programmes which would be pushed through.

The most important thing for the bank is to share more as an organisation with their employees, with the company aiming to get people together to network better, interact with one another as a region and give them access to some of the best managers within the bank.

“When they come into the bank, they are able to have that access and see what successful leaders are made of,” Angelo Pinto, regional head of L&D and head of APAC campus, says.

A conscious effort

The learning paths offered at the campus include risk and credit, compliance and regulations, individual competencies, technical banking competencies, leadership development, talent management, graduate development, and diversity and inclusion.

One of the things BNP Paribas believes strongly is that they are a learning organisation, and so in order to constantly evolve, they have to keep their employees in a state of learning.

Gibson says there was a purposeful effort to ensure a balance of hard and soft skills training programmes. “Risk and compliance are the foundations of a well-built house, and that’s what we’re planning to do – both in terms of training our people and building the skill sets in Singapore and the region,” he shares.

An easy decision to invest in people

The bank made the decision to construct the campus in September 2011, which for the banking community was a particularly turbulent time. Gibson says that’s a testament to what the bank can do, and gives an idea of how important it was to the institution to invest in its people.

Gibson adds: “Here in BNP Paribas, you don’t just get a job, but a career. We want to invest in our people through a holistic employee development programme and we believe that this is one of the things that talent today want from an employer.”

Theresa Ho, head of HR (SEA), says they are happy the campus is in Singapore, because it was very much in line with the local government’s plans to develop Singapore as a regional learning hub.

“Singapore is rich in human capital, and so having the campus here is appropriate as it serves as a place where we can grow our local talent,” Ho says.

At the end of the day, Ho says it is important to remember today’s talent are very different from what they have been in the past.

“It’s a new workforce, and one of the things that they look for is engagement and inclusiveness, and seeing what’s been happening in the market, they without doubt are also looking for stability,” she says.

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