Japanese, IT classes top SkillsFuture Credit scheme

Computer lessons and Japanese language classes are top choices among those who have started making use of the SkillsFuture Credit scheme.
Computer lessons and Japanese language classes are top choices among those who have started making use of the SkillsFuture Credit scheme. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

Japanese language classes and computer lessons - these are among the top choices among those who have started making use of the SkillsFuture Credit scheme.

It is a government programme which kicked off in January and gives every Singaporean aged 25 and older $500 credit to pay for skills courses.

Other popular courses include those involving security and investigation, and food and beverage classes, of which brewing speciality coffee and cake preparation were tops.

At its fourth SkillsFuture Credit road show yesterday at Bedok Mall, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said it will continue to expand the number of courses available under the scheme. It now has 12,500 courses, 2,500 more than in January.

"We recognise that when we talk about 2.5 million Singaporeans, the sort of skills they need and the interests they have will be quite diverse. We will certainly need more than 12,500 courses in order to meet all their needs," said WDA chief executive Ng Cher Pong.

The WDA has also expanded its online courses, from 586 in January to 1,072 today. These courses have also been surprisingly popular, especially among people aged 40 and below, and make up one in 10 of all claims under the scheme so far.

Ms Vanessa Wong, 39, who recently completed an online course on Web development, said it taught her basic coding and how to use the right words on her page so that it pops up more often on search engines - skills which she used to create her tuition Webpage.

She said online courses benefit people like her who have irregular working hours. "You can log into the training provider's portal and take your course any time, anywhere."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 10, 2016, with the headline 'Japanese, IT classes top SkillsFuture Credit scheme'. Print Edition | Subscribe