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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SBI set to overhaul staff training strategy

If everything goes according to plan, 1.5 lakh officers of the State Bank of India may soon have to go back to classrooms at in-house institutes, and earn certificates to be considered for promotions, according to sources.

The certificates earned may also come in handy for those looking for a change in job.

To keep pace with the changing needs of the banking industry, SBI is planning to overhaul its staff training strategy. The aim is to link scholarship with experiential learning, so as to make its officers specialists in their areas of operation.

Still in a conceptual stage, the initiative is likely to take shape in the next six months.

Training infrastructure

India’s largest bank currently operates 47 learning centres and five apex institutes to train and retrain its staff. Another apex institute, likely to be the largest of all, is under construction in Kolkata. Currently, the training is largely de-linked from the bank’s career improvement policies. The bank now wants to bridge this gap.

For example, SBI now picks officers for its 80-odd international branches through nomination and this is followed by requisite training. In future, the bank will select the candidates for international posting from a pool of trained officers.

Certification programme

To make the initiative mutually beneficial, the training modules may be linked with certification programmes.

It means, on successful completion of studentship, an officer will be awarded diplomas or degrees, as applicable, from a reputed Indian university or management institute.

Negotiations are currently on with four top institutions in the country for entering into a hand-holding relationship.

When contacted, Debashish Sarkar, Chief General Manager, Strategic Training Unit, said the bank is in the process of mapping the roles of every officer to restructure the training exercises. “The changing pattern of the industry demands specialised knowledge for each and every role. Moreover, in a fast changing environment, such knowledge needs regular upgrade,” Sarkar said.

Capacity building

Sources say the initiative is also aiming at skill development for India’s growing banking and non-banking financial sectors.

The bank recently conducted a training programme on Basel-III norms that saw participation from not only state-owned banks but also private banks, such as Axis Bank.

In the future, SBI will offer certification programmes for the wider population of bankers in India as well as overseas.

The idea is to make India an affordable destination for developing nations to upgrade banking-related skills.

Source : The Hindu


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