Parliament: SME talent scheme to be scaled down in sectors covered by SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme

SINGAPORE - A talent development programme run by Spring Singapore for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME), will be gradually scaled down and eventually phased out for some sectors and job roles.

This is because the SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme, announced in this year's Budget, will cover the same areas, said Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck on Monday.

He was responding to a question in Parliament from Nominated MP Thomas Chua, who asked about the difference between Spring's SME Talent Programme and the Workforce Development Agency's (WDA) SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme.

Mr Teo said that as both programmes are different, but have complementary aims, Spring and WDA have been working closely to harmonise the programmes.

Spring's Programme, launched in June 2013, aims to build a strong pipeline of local talent for SMEs. The agency works with key trade associations and chambers to help SMEs recruit promising students from ITEs, polytechnics and universities.

WDA's SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme is a work-study programme that will help graduates from Institutes of Technical Education (ITEs) and polytechnics get jobs in both SMEs and non-SMEs. The programme's aim is to encourage these graduates to enter industries they are trained for, by providing opportunities for them to earn an income and deepen their skills through a mix of institution-based and work-based training.

Mr Teo said the SkillsFuture Earn & Learn Programme is being implemented in phases, starting with a few sectors.