Parliamentary Replies

August 05, 2019

SkillsFuture credits for young adults with special needs

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar, Ang Mo Kio GRC

Question

To ask the Minister for Education whether the Ministry will consider allowing SkillsFuture credits to be made available to young adults with special needs from the age of 18 years old, instead of only from 25 years old, in light of the limited post-secondary

Response

1. Singaporeans with special educational needs (SEN) require differentiated support to prepare for employment. For those with mild to moderate SEN, many are enrolled in mainstream schools and the institutes of higher learning. Students with more severe SEN would enrol in the Special Education or SPED schools, and some have obtained vocational certifications such as Workforce Skills Qualification and ITE Skills Certificate. For those who require additional help, the government provides further support through the School-to-Work Transition Programme, which offers training and internships to help prepare students with SEN for the workplace.

2. Students with SEN can use their Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA) to support their education and training needs, until they reach the age of 30. This is on top of the $500 SkillsFuture Credit which they will receive when they reach the age of 25. In 2017, MOE broadened the scope of PSEA to cover approved training courses offered by SG Enable for students aged 17 years and above. This provides additional support for SEN students when they undergo continuing training beyond their school years. We welcome further ideas and suggestions from members on how the PSEA and other schemes can be enhanced to achieve better outcomes for students with SEN.

3. Supporting young adults with special needs is a whole-of-society effort. I encourage employers to partner our SPED schools, post-secondary education institutions and SG Enable, to provide internships, training and employment opportunities. For example, SG Enable has been working with hotels to provide job-related training opportunities through the School-to-Work Transition Programme. We hope more employers can come on board and join this meaningful initiative.