SkillsFuture course fee and assessment on the courses offered

Published Date: 03 April 2017 12:00 AM

News Parliamentary Replies

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Ms Sun Xueling, Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) (a) whether courses allowed under SkillsFuture are objectively assessed by the authorities as to how much they should cost and whether there is a negotiation process with training providers to keep course fees reasonable; and (b) whether there is an assessment of the courses to ensure that there are sufficient courses that can lead to tangible economic value-add for individuals rather than simply satisfying hobbies.

Response

1. SkillsFuture is a national movement to encourage the pursuit of skills mastery. It involves building up multiple pathways of progression, starting from schools and extending to our Post-secondary Education Institutes (PSEIs); developing new ways of education and training including blended learning, extended internships and cooperation with industries; scaling up lifelong learning opportunities by expanding course offerings at every stage of a person’s life. We are planning on a major outreach programme called SkillsFuture Engage.

2. The SkillsFuture Credit is one small part of the SkillsFuture movement, to empower individuals to take ownership of their skills development and lifelong learning journey.

3. So while training programmes offered by the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres and PSEIs are developed in close collaboration with industries with a strong focus on employment outcomes, the SkillsFuture Credit covers a much larger range of courses because part of its purpose is also to raise awareness of the importance of lifelong learning and skills mastery.

4. Nonetheless, as part of the approval process to include a course under the SkillsFuture Credit, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) examines proposed course fees, using industry benchmarks and funding caps to ensure that they are reasonable relative to other similar courses.

5. SSG, together with various supporting public agencies, also assess that the courses are skills-based and relevant to industry or an individuals’ professional development. Many of these courses, such as those offered under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) frameworks, go through a structured and rigorous industry-validation process.

6. But given that we take a deliberately inclusive approach for courses under the SkillsFuture Credit in view of its promotional objective, and we reach out to all Singaporeans – young, retired, old – it is inevitable that some Singaporeans will go for training not related to their careers. However, that is part of the outcome of the empowerment of individuals and their holistic development.

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