NatWest has poured £1 million ($1.3 million) into an academy open to all of its 70,000 employees to train them on how to better understand the use of data, reports Finextra.
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Data is considered the "fuel for innovation," per NatWest, making it central to the bank’s digital transformation. By launching the academy, NatWest aims to take advantage of emerging technologies, including AI and machine learning.
It will offer its employees training, courses, and qualifications, and participants will receive experience points and qualifications based on their progress. The courses focus on subjects including data science, data architecture, data engineering, and performance insight. NatWest hopes to train 1,000 employees in the first year.
Here’s why offering in-house data training is a good move for NatWest:
- The data academy will likely help with employee satisfaction. A number of banks are laying off staff to hire more tech-focused employees: Lloyds cut over 6,000 jobs only to add 2,000 new jobs focused on areas of digital expansion, for example. Therefore, offering employees the ability able to enhance their own skills to remain relevant in a changing business culture will likely help workers feel confident that their jobs are secure.
- The tech talent crisis is making it increasingly difficult for banks to attract tech-savvy staff. Banks have to compete with fintechs and tech giants like Amazon and Facebook for the most skilled tech employees. But when it comes to office culture, banks aren’t considered the most attractive option. By 2030, the financial services sector will have a shortage of nearly 10.7 million people globally, partly due to the competition for tech talent, leading to a shortage of qualified candidates, per Korn Ferry. So, training employees within could be easier than competing for tech talent from the same pool of candidates as other companies.
- Having more tech-savvy employees will enable NatWest to build more suitable digital services for customers. NatWest’s customer score, which is based on customer satisfaction, is currently 70%, per data from Which?. That’s 16 percentage points lower than the category winner, UK neobank Monzo, which boasts a score of 86%. By focusing on training staff to use emerging tech, NatWest will likely be in a better position to build services that will help it compete with the likes of Monzo.
While helping its overall employee base become more tech-savvy will help digital adoption within NatWest’s business, the bank should also ensure it’ll have skilled leaders for projects. By helping all of its staff members enhance their tech skills, NatWest will likely have an easier time accelerating adoption of new tech within its business.
However, to bring innovative solutions to the market, the bank should also make certain that it hires experts for each digital area to ensure that new projects are led by highly experienced people and supported by its existing staff.
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Source: Business Insider