Learning and development scheme SkillsFuture launches in Singapore

Author: PM Editorial | Date: 13 Jan 2016

Around 10,000 courses across 57 subjects, as programme emphasises new learning methods

A new range of professional learning and development opportunities will be available to Singaporeans from January, as the region’s Workforce Development Agency (WDA) launches training movement SkillsFuture.
A nationwide scheme for Singaporeans aged 25 and over, SkillsFuture aims to provide ways for people to train and learn outside of traditional routes or the workplace, allowing them to capitalise on different learning methods and develop their careers.
The WDA hopes the SkillsFuture scheme will assist individuals in making well-informed choices for education, training and careers, and develop an integrated lifelong system of education and training that responds to constantly evolving needs.
All Singaporeans will be able to use SkillsFuture credits to pay for a range of courses and learning subsidies, which will be made available through all stages of their career paths; including the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy for Singaporeans aged 40 years and over.
The courses are deliberately open-ended, with a range of subjects from flower painting to aerospace engineering. In a statement, the WDA said it hoped to inspire individuals regardless of their professional background, and did not want to limit the aspirations of Singaporeans.
"As of November 2015, there are about 10,000 courses that span across 57 functional areas, including basic computing, digital animation, finance and advertising,” said a SkillsFuture spokesperson.
A S$45 million budget has been dedicated to the SkillsFuture Mentors’ programme, which will assist the skills of employees, deliver quality internships and enhance their learning and development processes over nine-month courses.
The CEO of Republic Polytechnic (RP), which trains the SkillsFuture mentors, Mr Yeo Li Pheow said: "RP collaborates with SMEs as they are our important partners. Through such close partnership, our students and graduates can deepen skills and develop promising careers with SMEs. RP supports the SkillsFuture Mentors Programme by training mentors in effective coaching and mentoring skills, complementing their technical knowledge. This programme will strengthen the learning and development capabilities of SMEs, allowing them to stay competitive."
Eligible Singaporeans will have received their SkillsFuture activation letters, and an initial sponsorship of $500 in credits to be put towards courses, by the end of January.