SINGAPORE: Local bank DBS announced on Thursday (May 14) it will hire more than 2,000 people in Singapore this year as it commits to protecting jobs amid the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Singapore’s labour market has been under strain from the coronavirus outbreak as businesses announce wage cuts or put employees on no-pay leave.
DBS said in a press release on Thursday that of the 2,000 people it is committed to hiring, more than 1,000 will be in new roles comprising a mix of apprenticeships for fresh graduates as well as more specialised roles for seasoned professionals.
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“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,” said DBS CEO Piyush Gupta.
“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,” he said.
Included in the new roles are more than 360 jobs for seasoned professionals in growth technology areas, such as UX/UI, data science, fraud detection compliance, as well as consumer and institutional banking technology.
The bank is also looking to train and hire people in artificial intelligence, cloud computing, full stack development and data analytics through a range of specialised talent development programmes, DBS said.
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The lender is aiming to recruit more than 700 young people for its specialised programmes and its apprenticeships. It will also continue to run its annual internship programmes, with more than 400 internship opportunities in 2020.
“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," said Mr Gupta.
In addition to the new roles, DBS will also continue to hire 1,000 people in Singapore for other roles across the bank.
"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," DBS said.
DBS had previously reassured its 12,000-strong Singapore workforce that there will be no layoffs due to the COVID-19 downturn, with all employees continuing to remain on full pay even if they were unable to perform their jobs due to temporary branch closures and other “circuit breaker” restrictions.
"My peers and friends are all concerned about the current economic and hiring climate, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to build my career with DBS through their Graduate Associate Programme," said Nanyang Technological University undergraduate Jaslyn Lee, who interned with DBS in 2019.
"I enjoyed my internship with DBS and was really inspired by the collaborative work environment and what the bank is doing on the sustainability front."