Developing the Next Generation for the Future

By Mel Sim

EPF’s talent development programmes are aimed to nurture future leaders with critical and creative thinking.

Tell us about the initiatives your organisation is taking to ensure the younger generation of talent develop holistically.

At EPF, young talents have the advantage of choosing two development programmes: Leading EPF Apprentice Program (LEAP) and Protégé Program. Both are structured training development programmes that focus on enhancing a talent’s skill sets to future-proof their careers, especially in today’s ever-changing work scene.

The Leading EPF Apprentice Programme (LEAP), which launched in 2018, is our home grown management trainee programme that focuses on developing fundamental employability competencies. The programme provides the opportunity for our LEAPers to be rotated to 3 or 4 different departments over the span of 2 years, before they are permanently placed in a department based on business needs and their area of interest at the end of the programme. The key objectives of the programme are to equip our young talents with critical from developing business knowledge, building relationships and networking with stakeholders to developing agility, perseverance as well as grit through steep learning curve.

Started in 2019, the Protégé Programme is part of the organisation’s commitment to support the Malaysian Government's initiative in creating skilled graduates to be equipped with relevant competencies as well as enhance their marketability and employability. In line with the MySTEP 2022 initiative introduced by the Ministry of Finance, EPF along with our subsidiaries (RHB, MRCB, MBSB Bank) are looking to hire a total of 3,000 trainees in the year 2022. The 6-month programme offers our Protégé trainees on-the-job and soft skills training through hands on exposure to a variety of functions, ranging from branch management to investment-related functions, among others.

What makes these programmes different from other development programmes offered by other organisations?

Our Senior Management Team are passionate about developing young talents and are actively involved in the progress and career pathing of our young talents, we have various engagements sessions such as breakfast sessions with the CEO and C-Suites, Leadership Talks, as well as department or branch visits, where the young talents get the chance to gain insights and directly exchange ideas with our leaders.

Another key highlight is the opportunity for the young talents to be EPF representatives at external events e.g., Career Fairs. The hands-on experience will equip them with the ability to connect and build network with stakeholders, which will build on their confidence level as well as communications and interpersonal skills.

Apart from their individual development, our LEAP and Protégé trainees create a huge impact to our 15 million EPF members by participating and actively contributing to our ongoing projects and business. Our trainees are exposed to enterprise-wide projects and key initiatives at EPF, as we are embarking on the digital acceleration at EPF, we employ our younger talents to share their insights and knowledge to work alongside the senior project teams at EPF.

What changes will we be able to see in a talent that has undergone the programmes and how will they add value to the organisation?

The young talents will develop a solid foundation of business understanding, as well as key soft skills for example confidence, courage and independence to take on new challenges or tasks. As an organisation with over 5,800 employees from diverse generations working together, the different backgrounds and points of views that the younger generations bring will certainly add value to ensure EPF’s relevancy in the years to come.

As an example, through the LEAP Programme we’ve empowered our LEAPers to propose and drive projects to fill in any gaps that they might’ve noticed since they’ve joined. As a result, they’ve initiated sustainability activities, Social Interest Groups, and an interactive Onboarding website for new hires that are still ongoing today.

What do your talents have to say about your programmes?

Here’s what a graduate has to say about her experience: “The culture at EPF is enriching, and the people have been extremely supportive. As a LEAP Management Trainee, I could always depend on others to give me a helping hand especially when I’m feeling a little lost or need clarification.

Secondly, the programme offers 4 rounds of 6-month rotations that are tailored to suit your qualifications and aspirations, additionally they’ll also let you explore different parts of the organization that are also completely foreign to you. Each department offered a unique experience and allowed me to grow and learn in-depth about the different parts of EPF.

Finally, since this programme’s objective is to build young talents to become future leaders, there are development programmes integrated into the 2-year trainee programme. One of the first LEAP programs that I attended was a self-development bootcamp that provided us with tools to improve our thinking, communication and social skills to excel in our journey here at EPF.

The LEAP Management Trainee program is sought-after with good reason, EPF has had a long standing reputation of being a top employer and having been here one year I can personally vouch for that,” Farah Natasha binti Fouad Adam, Management Trainee, LEAP. Ahmad Hafiz Bin Shahfudin, Executive, Digital Infrastructure Department says “I have gained a lot of experience from participating in the Protégé programme. At EPF, I got the chance to practice my hands-on skills and gained a tremendous amount of knowledge that can help me to improve and build my confidence level.

The other thing is how to stay focused. At EPF, I was assigned as a network engineer whereby my task is to solve network problems. Thus, focus is important because it helps me to think better in order to understand the issue at hand.

Last but not least, teamwork. As part of the Digital Technology Team, we depend on each other to overcome any challenges faced. I am blessed with an amazing team that is willing to share knowledge and skills that can help me to perform better and hopefully one day, to be groomed as a force to be reckoned with, in this industry.”

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