As an established player in the Belgian financial sector, Belfius Bank and Verzekeringen is constantly innovating. Among other things, they are creating a modern bank that works with future-proof technologies. For this, Belfius wanted to build up more internal knowledge of Java and open systems. In this context, the bank set up a reskilling program for developers and analysts with a background in COBOL or mainframe systems. The bank contacted Inetum-Realdolmen to support them in this. Now almost 30 employees have been successfully reskilled. This gives the bank extra leverage to position itself for the future.
A conscious choice
Belfius is working on a modern 'core bank' based on various new technologies that require new specialists. Instead of setting up a recruitment campaign, the financial institution opted for internal reskilling. Marian Bevernage, IT Knowledge and Training Manager, says: "In a rapidly changing IT market, we want to offer our employees maximum career opportunities. What’s more, the Core Bank project is something we want to build on with the whole bank. As we did not have sufficient knowledge of Java and open systems in-house, we decided to set up the Java Reskilling Program. In doing so, we wanted to transform our specialists in COBOL and mainframe technology into fully-fledged Java experts. In order to learn this expert skill and to support us in organizing this training program, we were looking for a partner with sufficient knowledge and proven experience. We found it in Inetum-Realdolmen."
Both a rational and emotional process
The bank issued an RFP to five parties to determine whom they would be working with, says Marian Bevernage: "We worked with the obvious criteria. A supplier had to have experience with similar projects, expertise in the subject to be taught, a good proposal, acceptable deadlines, and a strong price. All of these were on the wish list.""In addition, we felt it was important to pay extra attention to the emotional side of this reskilling program. Our students had to process a huge amount of information in a short time. They also needed to become used to a new way of working - from linear programming to object-oriented thinking. They are essentially changing jobs and, after having been experts for 30 years, are now starting from scratch. This requires a great deal of mental resilience. A partner with a feel for this psychological side was therefore essential."