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New SkillsFuture Level-Up Programme to Boost Mid-Career Upskilling and Reskilling

Published Date: 04 March 2024 01:45 PM

News Press Releases

1. The Ministry of Education (MOE), together with SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), will jointly introduce the SkillsFuture Level-Up Programme (SFLP) to better support mid-career Singaporeans, aged 40 and above, in the pursuit of a substantive skills reboot.

2. This move reaffirms the importance of lifelong learning as a key pillar of our refreshed social compact, following the Forward SG exercise. It will enable mature, mid-career Singaporeans, who may have more personal and family commitments, to upskill and reskill to stay relevant and employable amidst a rapidly changing economy.

More Support to Defray Course Fees

(A) SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career) top-up

3. Today, Singaporeans aged 40 and above are eligible for the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES) that covers up to 90% of course fees for programmes funded by MOE and SSG. To further defray out-of-pocket costs of training, all Singaporeans, aged 40 and above will receive a SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career) top-up of $4,000, from 1 May 2024. Subsequent cohorts of Singaporeans will receive the top-up in the year they turn 40. This credit, which does not expire, is intended to support the skills upgrading needs of mid-career Singaporeans throughout their careers.

4. In 2020, Singaporeans aged 40 to 60 were given a one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up of $500 to encourage mid-career reskilling, which is due to expire on 31 December 2025. The expiry date on this one-off top-up will be lifted and individuals' SkillsFuture Credit balances will be merged with the top-up of $4,000.

5. With this move, all Singaporeans will benefit from a base tier of $500 SkillsFuture Credit that is given at age 25, followed by an additional tier of support given at age 40 for a mid-career skills reboot. Please refer to the Annex for more information on the base and mid-career tiers of SkillsFuture Credit.

6. The mid-career tier of SkillsFuture Credit can be used for a curated list of around 7,000 courses that have better employability outcomes, comprising:

  1. Full qualification programmes offered by the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), ranging from Nitec/Higher Nitec, Diploma, Undergraduate to Postgraduate degree programmes, as well as the modules that can stack towards these full qualifications;
  2. MOE-subsidised full qualifications from the University of the Arts Singapore and the Arts Institutions, i.e., Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts and LASALLE College of the Arts;
  3. SSG's SkillsFuture Career Transition Programmes, which are train-and-place programmes to support mid-career individuals' transition into sectors with good employment opportunities;
  4. Courses that fulfil the training requirements for Progressive Wage Model sectors; and
  5. Workplace Literacy and Numeracy courses.

7. Courses eligible for the additional tier of SkillsFuture Credit will be tagged accordingly on the MySkillsFuture portal from 1 May 2024. To make informed choices on the courses to embark on, Singaporeans can find out more about emerging jobs and skills paths in the high-growth areas of the Care, Digital and Green economies in SSG's Jobs and Skills Insights and the Skills Demand for Future Economy Report. Personalised information on course recommendations for one's career path is also available via both digital and physical channels. SSG will notify eligible Singaporeans on the top-up nearer the date.

(B) Greater access to full-time diplomas in polytechnics, ITE and the Arts Institutions

8. Currently, while Singaporeans can pursue multiple subsidised part-time Diploma and Post-Diploma programmes as part of their lifelong learning journey, they are not eligible for MOE subsidy for a full-time diploma qualification if they had already received MOE subsidy or government sponsorship for a diploma or higher qualification.

9. From Academic Year 2025, Singaporeans aged 40 and above will qualify for MCES for another publicly-funded full-time diploma at the polytechnics, Institute of Technical Education and Arts Institutions. This will expand the range of full-qualification courses available to mid-career Singaporeans to reskill and upskill, and help to further defray the out-of-pocket course fees for them.

Financial Support During Full-Time Long-Form Training

10. Mid-career Singaporeans may find that they require long-form training, rather than short courses, for a more significant skills reboot. Singaporeans aged 40 and above who decide to take time off from work to pursue full-time, long-form training will be able to tap on a new SkillsFuture Mid-Career Training Allowance to partially address the loss of income, from early 2025. The amount of training allowance, duration of support and eligible training programmes are outlined in Figure 1. More details, such as the starting date, will be released later this year.

Figure 1: Details of the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Training Allowance

Quantum 50% of average income over the latest available 12-month period of data, capped at $3,000 per month.

The amount of support is calibrated to provide adequate coverage for the median mid-career worker.
Eligible Training Programmes For selected full-time training courses, which are:
  1. SSG’s full-time SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme,
  2. Full-time full qualification programmes up to the undergraduate-degree level offered by the IHLs, and
  3. Full-time MOE-subsidised full qualification programmes up to the undergraduate-degree level offered by the University of the Arts Singapore and Arts Institutions.
Duration Up to 24 months over one’s lifetime.

The duration of support can cover more than one bout of full-time upgrading via the SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme and at least half of the duration of the eligible full qualifications.

Employers' Support Important for Mid-Career Workers

11. Beyond government support, employers play a key role in enabling mid-career workers to make full use of the provisions under the SFLP. Employers are encouraged to support and invest in the upskilling of their workers, and to create supportive workplace environments that allow their workers to learn well and stay relevant while on-the-job. In turn, employers will benefit from having a more highly-skilled workforce with greater flexibility to meet the demands of new job roles.