Human Capital Partnership Programme Factsheet

17 Feb 2017Press Releases


The Human Capital Partnership (HCP) Programme is a tripartite initiative that brings together a community of employers who are committed to grow their businesses and stay competitive by having progressive employment practices, and developing their human capital. The focus on human capital development is essential for Singapore’s economy to remain competitive, for businesses to attract and retain talent, and grow, as well as for Singaporeans to continue to have better jobs, better salaries and better careers.

The HCP Programme seeks to grow an inclusive community of progressive employers, known as Human Capital Partners (HCPartners). HCPartners are committed to nurture a stronger Singaporean Core; maximise complementarity between locals and foreigners, and enhance skills transfer from foreign to local employees to increase the capabilities of the local workforce.


HCP Mark

HCP Mark

All HCPartners will receive the HCP Mark(above), which is a symbol that identifies HCPartners as exemplary employers and visually represents a company’s relationship withinthe HCP community. It is an endorsement of the continued commitment by HCPartners to human capital development and can be used in the firm’s corporate and marketing materials.

On 17 February 2017, Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, unveiled the pioneer batch of HCPartners. Among them are MasterCard, The American Club, City Development Limited, GlaxoSmithKline and Jumbo Seafood Restaurant. Please refer to Annex A for the full list of HCPartners.

Best practices of some HCPartners

Human Capital Partners (HCPartners) will contribute to Singapore’s overall human capital development by focusing on five key areas that encompass all career stages.

Building the careers of young talent: The Ascott Limited

Ascott continually looks out for high calibre people with strong potential as it expands its global business. While bringing in the best people is an important first step in their talent management strategy, bringing out the best in them is just as important.

Young talents can learn how to run an international-class serviced residence and adapt to the cities in which it operates through its Global Exchange and Residence Manager programmes. An example is Azlinda, who joined the Ascott concierge team without any prior experience in the hospitality industry. Over the years, Ascott exposed her to different areas of work and she has shown great willingness to learn new skills, and take on new responsibilities. Two years ago, she was posted to Malaysia where she successfully opened a new property. Today, Azlinda is a Residence Manager overseeing the operations of a 203-unit property in Kuala Lumpur, and a valuable asset to the company.

Some of their other key initiatives:

  • It gives new hires many opportunities to learn and grow, including overseas postings and rotations across different corporate functions. These rotations equip them with the skills to do their current job competently, and also prepare them for leadership roles later in their careers.
  • Ascott also participates in IE Singapore’s Young Talent Programme Scholarship, a local undergraduate scholarship and nine scholars have been recruited through this scheme.

Providing a platform to transfer skills and experience: 3MHCPartners aim to transfer critical skills to further develop their human capital, such as providing opportunities for multi-skilling to grow into technical subject matter experts. 3M has implemented this across the production floor, from production operators, to R&D and manufacturing engineers, who are provided with exposure to different processes and product lines.

As part of its strategy of developing globalised leaders, 3M brought Mark Ratzlaff from its US HQ in 2010 to help start-up the new Singapore operations and train the local teams. He mentored 3M Singapore’s Mr Eugene Chew, who was a Production Manager then, and also used his technical knowledge to train the local process engineering and production teams. Mr Chew was able to take over Mr Ratzlaff’s position and became the new product manager for the Display Materials and Systems Division in 2012. Mr Chew, who started his career in 3M as a flex process engineer, later paid it forward by developing Mr Peter Huang, who eventually became the process engineering manager for the Display Materials and Systems Division.

The engaging and collaborative environment at 3M encourages staff to develop and transfer skills:

  • Production operators are given the opportunity for multi-skilling, so they can be deployed to various operations as part of their development. In the longer term, they could grow into Subject Matter Experts in certain processes and contribute in the technical area.
  • R&D and manufacturing engineers are provided with exposure to different processes/product lines and they could advance either through the Technical Ladder or the Management Ladder.


Preparing local workforce for success in a competitive global market: DBS

This focus on developing leaders with global perspective and experience is a key one for DBS, and the bank is especially deliberate in growing a pipeline of future leaders with international experience. DBS’ internal mobility programme provides a platform for employees to take on different roles across businesses and geographies in the bank. In 2016, about 30% of the bank’s positions were filled by internal transfers. In the last five years, more than 40% of staff (Vice Presidents and above) who took on overseas assignments were Singaporeans. This is in line with the Human Capital Partnership (HCP) programme, which aims to strengthen the Singaporean workforce by nurturing promising local talents into regional or even global talents.

These stints are invaluable and expose “glocal” talents like Tan Teck Long and Pearlyn Phau to different cultures and ideas, to nurture them for bigger roles when they return to Singapore. Five years ago, Teck Long was given the opportunity to become the Head of the Institutional Banking Group (IBG) at DBS China. Under his leadership, DBS became one of the first two foreign banks to set up an outlet in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone. This culminated in Teck Long being recognised as one of Shanghai’s top Financial Innovation Leaders in 2014 for his contributions to the development of Shanghai’s banking. He now leads an international workforce of more than 1,300 staff across 15 countries, including the US and Australia, as the COO of DBS Institutional Banking Group and the Group Head of Large Corporates.

Back in 2012, Pearlyn relocated to Hong Kong and assumed the role of the market’s Head of Consumer Banking Group and Wealth Management. Under her leadership, the team continued to reposition the consumer banking business to take advantage of the wealth management opportunities in Hong Kong. Today, she has taken on a bigger role as the
4 Deputy Group Head of Consumer Banking and Wealth Management, leading over 5,600 staff across the bank’s six key markets.

Through DBS’ internal mobility programme, high potential employees like Teck Long and Pearlyn are mobilised to work on key projects or rotated into other roles in DBS’ six key markets, enabling them to gain exposure, knowledge, experience and develop the cross-cultural sensitivity needed to be a successful regional leader. High potential employees may take on both short- and long-term regional assignments, ranging from three months to three years. These mobility opportunities are critical to their career development as they can gain a broader perspective and in-depth knowledge of the bank. They will participate in key projects or assume key roles which will give them opportunities to engage with stakeholders from different cultural backgrounds and to execute against different strategies due to varying market positions. This exposure broadens and deepens their perspective of the customer experience, economic and service proposition of the bank’s products and services, and primes them for more challenging and senior regional roles upon return to the Singapore office.

In the last few years, DBS launched two new programmes for high potential employees in the early stage of their career. They are given the opportunity to work in another DBS office and develop their skills exponentially through this overseas exposure.

  • Management Associate (MA) Overseas Programme gives the top graduating MA in each of DBS’ six key markets the opportunity to take on a two-year assignment in another country. This gives them early exposure in a different core market that the bank operates in. Between six to eight MAs embark on this programme each year.
  • Strategic Talent Assignment and Rotation (STAR) Programme provides our high potential employees (Assistant Vice Presidents and Vice Presidents) with accelerated development through a two-year cross-country assignment in a different role. The assigned roles will be in an area which is new to the participants, and provide critical exposure that will enable them to achieve their longer-term career aspirations. This fast-track programme will prepare them to take on a larger role upon return to their home country.


Offering opportunities for lifelong learning and career development: Royal Plaza on Scotts

Royal Plaza on Scotts (RP) reviews all talents based on their ability to perform regardless of their ages. Madam Chan Ah Kiang, who turns 65 this year, was hired by RP as a Housekeeping Attendant at the age of 62 in 2014. She brings with her a wealth of experience in room cleaning and is currently a designated trainer to guide new colleagues on the job. As part of the Hotel’s Talent Management Program, Ah Kiang was recognized as a high performer in 2016 for consistently exceeding performance targets.

RP treats all talents as individuals and not just another employee and recognises that talents are also looking for an emotional connection with their employers. In this, they embrace diversity in their effort to attract the right talents. In partnership with e2i and Workforce Singapore, RP also engages individuals looking for a career switch and older workers. Some of their key programmes include:

  • Flexible working arrangement (FWA) – The FWA (22 hours per week) started in 2008, when RP encouraged mature talents to re-enter the workforce or continue with their employment and supported the women-back-to-work initiative. Having to work half the time compared to their peers, they enjoy pro-rated benefits and are financially independent with the freedom to enjoy their time with their family and friends. Special requests have been accommodated for some of their older workers who prefer to work on permanent afternoon shifts as they would like to look after their grandchildren.
  • Merging older workers with the younger generation of new hires – The mix of generations complements the organisation’s structure as younger talents bring in energy and zest while mature talents take the younger ones under their wings to provide guidance.
  • Automation to improve productivity and reduce workplace injury - With the aid of automation, staff can now carry out their tasks more effectively within a shorter time. The initiatives implemented improved workplace safety as they reduce the possibilities of staff getting injured from strenuous work, especially older workers. Housekeeping attendants are now equipped with motorised trolleys, which reduce the energy and time required to push and transport amenities from room to room. This has halved the original amount of time needed.


Recognising the contribution and empowering women in today’s workforce: Nikko Asset Management

While it is performance driven as a business and believes in partnering its clients to build progressive investment solutions, Nikko Asset Management (Nikko) is also aware of the importance of being a progressive employer. There is strong believe in hiring based on merit and a culture that is supportive of women and working mothers.

Nikko’s flexible work arrangements have enabled mothers like Rose Lim to remain in the workforce and many other staff of the firm to re-join the workforce. The staggered working hours allowed Rose to spend more time with her special needs children as well as attend medical check-ups for her illness.

Nikko has made swift progress towards conducting an open conversation with every female staff with family responsibilities to understand their concerns and the level of support they need. This proactive and progressive approach includes putting in place sensible HR policies that support mothers who want to carry on working:

  • Women in Leadership. In early February 2017, the first Women’s Leadership program was piloted with the intention to create a space to empower their female leaders (SVPs and above) and engage women leaders to be champions of change. This was rolled out with a longer-term view in mind to map out a gender strategy for Asia ex-Japan.
  • Formal implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements (FWA) Arrangement. Through the FWA program, they have managed to attract and retain good talents including educated working mothers from leaving the industry. There is also additional flexible work arrangement during and post-pregnancy.

Firms may contact the HCP Programme Manager at 6302 2782 or email for more information about the HCP Programme, as well as advice on schemes and grants to develop human capital and adopt progressive workplace practices.