Letters to Editor
Published Date: 12 July 2019

Response to two letters on the growing use of technology and its impact on jobs, "Strong Support to Help Financial Sector Workers Enhance Skills and Use New Technologies" by MAS and WSG - The Straits Times, 6 and 9 July 2019

Dear Editor,
We refer to the letters from Mr Sarvjeet Sharma (“Banking revolution may be bad news for employees”, 6 July) and Dr Patrick Liew Siow Gian (“Add value to roles that cannot be managed by technology”, 9 July) commenting on the growing use of technology and its impact on jobs.
Technology is reshaping the way products and services are produced and consumed. To stay competitive, businesses have no choice but to harness technology so that they can serve their customers better.  The financial services industry is no different.
A recent study commissioned by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) found that data analytics and automation will substantially change the nature of financial services sector job roles. Many roles will benefit with the reduction or elimination of manual and repetitive tasks, allowing workers to focus on higher value work. But some roles could be displaced. 
The correct response to the growing role of technology is not to avoid it but to equip our workers so that they can take on the higher value job roles that technology will enable. Workforce Singapore (WSG) has been working with other government agencies, the labour movement, and employers to reskill and redeploy workers under initiatives like the Professional Conversion Programmes (PCP). In 2018, about 30,000 jobseekers secured jobs through the PCP and other programmes under the Adapt and Grow initiative.  
The financial industry is actively participating in this initiative to support and reskill its workers. For example, many bank tellers, whose job roles have been impacted by technology, have since been reskilled and redeployed as digital ambassadors, video tellers, customer service officers, and even chatbot trainers. Over the past two years, 19 financial institutions have committed to retrain about 4,000 staff under the PCP. 1,700 workers have started this journey, and so far about 800 have successfully moved into new roles.
We will continue with our efforts to help jobseekers reskill and move into new jobs. At the same time, individuals must take ownership of their own learning and development and be willing to seize the opportunities that arise. Singapore is still in the early stages of workforce transformation, but the results to-date are encouraging.
Jerome Lee
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore
Aaron Lye
Director (Corporate Marketing and Communications)
Workforce Singapore