SkillsFuture: Greater Support for Workforce to Deepen Skills Through Continual Learning

Published Date: 25 February 2015 12:00 AM

News Press Releases

1.In line with the objectives of SkillsFuture to support and encourage lifelong learning and help Singapore Citizens (SCs) stay responsive to a changing workplace, the Ministry of Education (MOE) will be introducing more skills-based modular courses at post-secondary education institutions (PSEIs) (i.e. the Institute of Technical Education [ITE], polytechnics and universities) later this year at the following levels:

  • Diploma
  • Post-diploma (Diploma (Conversion), Specialist Diploma, Advanced Diploma)
  • Undergraduate degree

2.Recognising that mid-career individuals may face more opportunity costs in undertaking training, MOE and the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) will also enhance course subsidies for these individuals to encourage and support their skills development.

Expanded Range of Skills-Based Modular Courses at Post-Secondary Education Institutions

3.A range of flexible, modular and bite-sized learning options will be introduced, taking into consideration the demands of working adults1. These options provide SCs with more opportunities to acquire relevant skills, without the necessity to pursue a full qualification.

4.There will be no cap on the number of skills-based modular courses that SCs can be funded for. Some of these modular courses can be counted towards a full qualification. SCs enrolled in skills-based modular courses offered at the PSEIs will receive the same levels of subsidies as for part-time programmes at the same level. For example, for SCs below 40 years of age, diploma-level modular courses will be subsidised at the same level as part-time diploma courses.

5.The first slate of modular courses will provide opportunities for skills building that are relevant to the key priority and growth sectors such as advanced manufacturing, logistics and aviation. The range of courses will be expanded over time to cover other sectors. More details of these short modular courses will be released in the coming months.

Enhanced Course Subsidies for SCs Aged 40 and Above

6.SCs aged 40 and above will enjoy higher subsidies of at least 90% of programme cost for MOE-funded full-time and part-time courses ranging from diploma to postgraduate level in publicly-funded universities, polytechnics and ITE for course semesters commencing from 1 July 2015, and up to 90% of course fees for WDA-supported courses with effect from 1 October 2015. The Government is increasing the subsidy in recognition that mid-career SCs often require significant re-skilling in the middle of their careers. This additional support from the Government helps address the opportunity costs they face. The increased subsidies will help to encourage mid-career individuals to upskill and reskill, thereby helping them to remain competitive and resilient in the job market. Individuals can also tap on the new SkillsFuture Credit, which will be given to all SCs aged 25 and above to support lifelong learning, to defray the course fees.

7.Existing courses which are already subsidised at a level of 90% or higher will continue to be subsidised at their current levels. These include Nitec, Higher Nitec and WDA-supported courses for rank-and-file-level training.

8.The existing time bar of five years for post-diploma course subsidies will also be removed.

Footnotes:
  1. For purposes of illustration, a part-time diploma typically requires about 900 hours of training, delivered through 5 modular certificates (each modular certificate comprises about 3 modules), while a single module covered by a modular course at diploma level can be completed in 30 to 60 hours.
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