Applications open for more than 500 SkillsFuture Study Awards

Office workers in the central business district. The SkillsFuture Study Awards are given out by the Government to support young and mid-career workers who are looking to upgrade their skills.
Office workers in the central business district. The SkillsFuture Study Awards are given out by the Government to support young and mid-career workers who are looking to upgrade their skills.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than 500 cash grants are up for grabs for Singaporean workers who want to deepen their skills in areas as diverse as fashion technology, mechanical engineering, or pastry and baking.

Applications for the first phase of the SkillsFuture Study Awards opened on Tuesday (Oct 20), the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said.

The awards, worth $5,000 each, are given out by the Government to support young and mid-career workers who are looking to upgrade their skills.

The first eight sectors which are ready to receive applications are construction, aviation, international enterprise, maritime, financial services, social services, food and beverage, and retail.

First announced in the Budget 2015 statement, the Study Awards are meant to subsidise workers' course fees, while also helping employers save on training costs.

An award recipient could, for instance, use the grant to fund a specialist diploma in cyber security management, or a PhD in aviation.

Up to 2,000 awards will be made available each year, as they are progressively introduced across more sectors.

They are administered by the government agencies overseeing the sectors in question.

The awards are bond-free and can be used on top of existing Government course subsidies.

Mrs Sarah Tham, associate director of engineering contractor DLE, said she will be encouraging a few of her staff to apply for the awards, so that they can get specialist diplomas in mechanical engineering.

She added that while the company has previously paid for staff to go for these courses, they have required them to be bonded to the company for two to three years.

"Now they can use the award for themselves. It incentivises them to go for further upgrading," she said.

To apply for the award, employees should have at least three years of working experience in the relevant sector, show a track record of continuous education, and not be a previous Study Award recipient.

The awards are now open for applications by Singaporean workers and nominations by employers at www.skillsfuture.sg.

oliviaho@sph.com.sg