More than two million Singaporeans, who will receive their SkillsFuture Credit next year, can start exploring the courses they want to take with an online directory launched yesterday.
The website was launched early to give citizens more time to plan their training, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) said in a statement. The directory now lists 10,000 courses - ranging from financial literacy to photography and cooking - focused on skills training.
They are offered by more than 500 providers, such as Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Singapore Institute of Management and Nanyang Technological University.
In January, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above will receive a letter about the activation of their SkillsFuture Credit accounts. The letter will include a step-by-step guide on how to use their initial $500 worth of credit.
The amount will not expire and the Government will provide periodic top-ups, so Singaporeans can save up to pay for more expensive courses. It can also be used on top of other government subsidies.
More than $1 billion has been set aside by the Government to fund this scheme, to support Singaporeans in lifelong learning.
The SkillsFuture Credit scheme was part of Budget measures announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic and Social Policies Tharman Shanmugaratnam in February. It is administered by WDA and can be used for government-approved courses in 57 areas, including aerospace, sports and healthcare.
Singaporeans can choose any course, and are not limited to those relevant to their current job or industry, should they wish to explore a career switch.
Earlier this month, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung urged Singaporeans to take charge of their own skills upgrading. He said the credit is "not meant to be just a monetary grant, but is also a clear signal that each of us is empowered and needs to take charge of our own skills".
Accountant Lee Tze Kang, 28, said he is looking forward to getting the credits. He plans to take up baking classes with his girlfriend, Ms Debbie Wong, 26, a banker.
His only worry is that the classes will be held on weekdays, making it hard for him to attend as he has a full-time job.
He said: "With the website, I plan to send an e-mail to the course provider to ask for the class schedule."