Nigel Chan (centre), a Performance Management Analyst from Prudential’s Distribution division, takes up the online Machine Learning course together with colleagues, Angeline Alexander (left), from the company’s Customer division and Marilyn Chin (right), from the Risk and Compliance division.
Singapore, 10 February 2020 – Prudential Singapore (“Prudential”) is offering its 1,200 employees an online certification programme, Machine Learning for Humans, to equip them with the skills to better leverage data in their daily work using Artificial Intelligence (AI). More than 170 employees have signed up for the programme since it launched on 1 February 2020.
Prudential is the first company in Singapore to collaborate with Ngee Ann Polytechnic (“Ngee Ann Poly”) to roll out the online course. This follows the successful launch of the foundational course, AI in Finance, to over 200 Prudential employees last year.
The ability to understand AI and apply it to what we do is a useful skill to have, regardless of job roles, said Ms Sheela Parakkal, Chief Human Resource Officer, Prudential Singapore.
“We are seeing greater implementation of Artificial Intelligence across our business. For instance, our chatbot, askPRU, that has changed the way our 5000-strong team of financial consultants interact with our customers, is an AI-powered solution. As technology continues to transform the way we work, we want to equip our employees with the capability to leverage it. With the new Machine Learning programme, we hope our employees can acquire an important skillset that will boost their relevance in this digital age.”
Said Mr Clarence Ti, Principal of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, “With Machine Learning playing an increasingly vital role in driving business decisions, Ngee Ann Poly is excited to collaborate with Prudential to launch our inaugural online course, Machine Learning for Humans. This partnership is a significant milestone for Ngee Ann Poly as we look forward to equipping companies like Prudential to upskill their employees and embrace the technology that is changing the landscape of the financial services sector in Singapore”.
To succeed in the digital economy, especially as lifespans increase and people enjoy longer careers, companies must invest in continuous learning for their employees. More than eight in 10 HR practitioners and business leaders surveyed in a Prudential study identified re-skilling programmes as key to a company’s success in the next five years.
Prudential employee Nigel Chan, 28, a Performance Management Analyst in the Distribution Division,is well aware of the need to invest time in keeping up with digital trends. He signed up for the course even though knowledge of AI is not an immediate requirement in his role.
“Over the last few years, the skills in demand are often associated with AI, data analytics and cloud computing. If I do not quickly get acquainted with Al and its application, I could start to lose relevance very soon,” said Mr Chan.
Prudential employees who have signed up for the new programme will be trained by data scientists from both the public and private sectors. The online course can be completed within 30 hours, following which employees are required to take scenario-based assessments to demonstrate their understanding and ability to translate theory into application.
Investing in continuous learning
The insurer has been upskilling its people to get them future ready. Last year, it provided 18,000 training hours to employees in areas like design thinking, innovation and project management. Employees who successfully upskill themselves can subsequently take on new roles within the organisation as part of its internal mobility programme. Last year, 9 per cent of Prudential’s workforce took up a new role in the company.
Notes to the Editor:
More on Machine Learning for Humans
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Prudential’s Skilled for 100 report: Businesses need to do more to tap the talent and expertise of their older employees for sustained growth
About Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd (Prudential Singapore)
Prudential Assurance Company Singapore (Pte) Ltd is one of the top life insurance companies in Singapore, serving the financial and protection needs of the country’s citizens for 88 years. The company has an AA- Financial Strength Rating from leading credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s, with S$42.02 billion funds under management as at 31 December 2019. It delivers a suite of well-rounded product offerings in Protection, Savings and Investment through multiple distribution channels including a network of more than 5,000 financial consultants.
About Ngee Ann Polytechnic
Inaugurated in 1963, Ngee Ann Polytechnic is one of Singapore's leading institutions of higher education. Today, the polytechnic has a full-time enrolment of more than 14,800 students. The polytechnic offers 48 full-time courses through its nine academic schools. With its emphasis on broad-based learning, global exposure and character development, Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s vision is to prepare graduates with a passion for learning, values for life and competencies to thrive in a global workplace.
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1Singapore has the highest life expectancy in the world today, and its labour force participation in the age group above 60 is ranked one of the highest among the developed countries.