SkillsFuture Credit for overseas courses

Published Date: 08 November 2016 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong, Non-Constituency Member of Parliament

Question

To ask the Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) whether SkillsFuture Credits can be used for overseas courses that are not available through training providers in Singapore, on a case-by-case basis, for example where the skill in question is of economic value and where local training providers are scarce.

Response

1. We have taken an inclusive approach to build up the list of courses eligible for the SkillsFuture Credit. As at 30 September, the SkillsFuture Credit course directory contains about 17,000 skills-based courses in over 50 areas of training.

2. However, by and large we do not include courses conducted overseas into the directory, because their lack of presence means we cannot audit or conduct checks on them, whether for quality or for alleged abuses.

3. Notwithstanding, we recognize that there are overseas courses that are useful to workers. So we have brought in many best-in-class training institutions from overseas and provided course fee subsidies for the programmes. An example is the Lean Transformation Innovation Centre, established by the Singapore Institute of Technology in partnership with the Lean Enterprise Institute, which is a US-based training provider. Another example is the collaboration between the Singapore Productivity Centre and the Boston Consulting Group, which has trained retail professionals in best practices and practical tools in the areas of concept development, portfolio management and business process improvement.

4. We also included Massive Open Online Courses designed by overseas institutions which are offered through reputable overseas-based companies, such as Udemy and Coursera, under the SkillsFuture Credit.

5. SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) will continue to work closely with the relevant government agencies and training providers to expand the list of courses. If the Member has a specific training programme that is not conducted in Singapore but is industry relevant, I would suggest that the Member surface it to SSG for consideration. Where appropriate, SSG is prepared to similarly explore cost-effective and sustainable ways to enable Singaporeans to gain access to such programmes.

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