Forum: Wish list for SkillsFuture top-ups

In a photo from July 28, 2018, people visit the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Carnival at the Lifelong Learning Institute.
In a photo from July 28, 2018, people visit the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Carnival at the Lifelong Learning Institute.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

I was heartened to read that the Government will top up the SkillsFuture Credit (More support for workplace training and learning new skills, Feb 19).

However, I feel that the extra credit for those aged 40 to 60 could have been extended to those in other age groups, especially the unemployed, like myself, who could very much do with additional credits ($500 extra SkillsFuture Credit for mid-career workers aged 40 to 60, Feb 19).

This way, we would be able to take more courses, as well as courses that cost more than $500, and not have to worry about the higher financial outlay.

Also, the top-up should be made available earlier, such as in April, at the start of the 2020 financial year.

In addition, the credits should have a transferable mechanism such that people are permitted to transfer their unused credits to their family members who are actively using them.

I know of a number of people who have not used the credits at all since they were first launched in 2015.

To help raise the training participation rate further, the suggestion that SkillsFuture top-ups be made annually so as to keep up the training momentum is something the Government should seriously consider (Expansionary, but targeted and reassuring, say observers, Feb 19).

To allay any concerns about possible "wastage" in unused credits, perhaps the annual top-ups could be given only to those who have used their credits, or the additional credits could be disbursed upon an applicant's confirmation of taking up a course.

Kevin Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 21, 2020, with the headline 'Wish list for SkillsFuture top-ups'. Print Edition | Subscribe