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OCBC launches accelerated banking career programme for 500 polytechnic students over next three years

Felicia Tan
Felicia Tan • 3 min read
OCBC launches accelerated banking career programme for 500 polytechnic students over next three years
At the launch of the programme on June 12. Photo: OCBC
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Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC) has launched an accelerated banking career programme for 500 polytechnic students over the next three years. The programme is the first by a Singapore bank that offers extensive training of this scale and job placement opportunities for polytechnic students.

Named OCBC Ignite, the programme, which builds on OCBC’s current 12-month tech internship programme with Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Temasek Polytechnic, is designed in partnership with all five polytechnics in Singapore. It seeks to contribute to the nation’s goal of increasing the number of polytechnic graduates with full-time jobs in the financial sector with the aim to double the bank’s annual intake of fresh polytechnic graduates.

The programme will offer an accelerated career pathway for students. It will last for 18 months and includes an internship that will take place during their final year of studies as well as a structured full-time apprenticeship after graduation. Students under the programme can choose between the tech or business pathway; the duration of the internship and apprenticeship will differ depending on the pathway. Roles under the tech pathway include being a full-stack developer, data scientist or mobile developer. Roles under the business pathway include being a customer service executive with the bank, an anti-money laundering compliance officer or a digital ambassador.

After the apprenticeship, these students will be appointed to the rank of assistant manager at the bank, a position that currently takes about three years to attain. The rank of assistant manager is also typically accorded to fresh university graduates.

“Polytechnic graduates are a compelling talent pool that we want to bring on board. They bring industry-relevant skills to the role, are good problem-solvers and operate well in an inter-disciplinary environment,” says Lee Hwee Boon, head of group human resources at OCBC.

“We are excited that the introduction of the OCBC Ignite programme will empower polytechnic graduates with an alternative pathway to gain valuable real-world industry experience and practical skills that can give them a head start in their careers,” Lee adds.

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“I see the OCBC Ignite Programme as a great platform for aspiring banking professionals like me to have a head start in a banking career. The exposure I will gain during the 18 months will provide me with a strong foundation and holistic understanding of the banking sector. I’m eager to learn from leading banking professionals as well as my peers to contribute to the bank’s success,” says Teo Jia Loong Jefferson, a second-year student at Republic Polytechnic.

The programme was launched at the OCBC Centre on June 12. It was attended by Alvin Tan, the minister of state, Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) and Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI); Helen Wong, the group CEO of OCBC, as well as senior representatives from the five polytechnics. About 100 students also attended the launch.

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