Parliament Briefs: SkillsFuture credits: Most courses are here; 2,000 available online

SkillsFuture credits: Most courses are here; 2,000 available online

Most of the courses that people can use their SkillsFuture Credits for are conducted locally rather than overseas, because it is easier to check these for quality, said Parliamentary Secretary for Education Low Yen Ling yesterday.

But the credits can also be used for almost 2,000 online courses, which are among the 17,000 courses listed in the SkillsFuture Course directory as of Sept 30. The bulk of these online courses are delivered by overseas providers and include those offered by reputable companies such as Udemy and Coursera, said Ms Low, in response to Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan, who asked whether the credits can be used for overseas courses that are not available here.

"By and large we do not include courses conducted overseas in the SkillsFuture Credit directory, because their lack of presence here means that we are unable to audit or check these training providers for quality or to prevent any possible misuse," she told Parliament.

She added that training institutions from overseas are brought in to run courses here, which are also subsidised. She also invited MPs to suggest courses which are relevant to industries, but are not available here, to the SkillsFuture Singapore for consideration to be added to the course directory.

1,200 tap fund for assistive devices

Nearly 1,200 people with disabilities have tapped a fund to buy assistive devices such as motorised wheelchairs and hearing aids, since it was enhanced in August last year.

One in five of them were repeat beneficiaries of the Assistive Technology Fund, which subsidises up to 90 per cent of equipment costs for people with disabilities, said Parliamentary Secretary for Social and Family Development Faishal Ibrahim.

He provided this update in response to a question from Ms Denise Phua (Jalan Besar GRC) on whether there could be more assistance for people who need to buy replacements for their aids.

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin gave an update on the number of applications made for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), which has increased to 23,000 over the last two years.

Only 7,200 were received in the four years before the waiver of some of the application fees began in 2014.

The ministry is also trying to make it easier for people to apply for deputyship for family members who lose their mental capacity and have not made an LPA, said Mr Tan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 09, 2016, with the headline 'Parliament Briefs'. Subscribe