Most trainees find SkillsFuture-funded courses helped their work: SkillsFuture Singapore

About 146,000 Singaporeans started using their SkillsFuture Credit in 2018, bringing the total number who have tapped the subsidy to about 431,000 since the scheme was launched in January 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - More than eight in 10 Singaporeans who attended SkillsFuture-funded courses last year found that their training helped them in their work, according to a survey by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

Trainees were asked about the quality of their course on the last day of training and were surveyed again six months later on how useful they felt it had been in their work.

About 3,500 people were polled, said SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong on Monday (Feb 11) at a review of the statutory board's work last year.

SSG has always planned to assess training, although it is not a simple task, Mr Ng added.

"Outcomes are not easy to measure, because the relationship between training and enhanced career opportunities or wage increases is difficult to measure because there are many other attributes that may affect that," he said.

The survey will be rolled out progressively to all SSG-funded courses on the Training Exchange section of the MySkillsFuture portal by the middle of this year. SSG is also working on a longer-term study with the Ministry of Trade and Industry focused on the effectiveness of the Workforce Skills Qualifications programmes, said Mr Ng.

This year, he said, the agency plans to enhance its MySkillsFuture portal, which provides information on careers and the corresponding skills needed. For instance, users will be able to create an e-passport listing their e-certificates from training, said Mr Ng.

SSG will also expand its work-learn programmes and scale up the SkillsFuture Series, which is a curated list of short training programmes in emerging areas such as data analytics, finance and cybersecurity.

Mr Ng added that more people are making use of government subsidies to go for training.

About 146,000 Singaporeans started using their SkillsFuture Credit last year, bringing the total number who have tapped the subsidy to about 431,000 since the scheme was launched in January 2016.

The $500 credit is given to all Singaporeans aged 25 and older.

The agency implemented a fraud analytics system last year to identify suspicious claims for training subsidies, after it was scammed out of $40 million in 2017.

Mr Ng said fraudulent cases "remain a very, very small fraction" of the applications received.

"We're now trying to strike a better balance between making it easy for individuals and enterprises to submit bona fide training claims but at the same time focusing on those errant ones and taking them to task," he said.

A total of 465,000 Singaporeans and 12,000 enterprises took up various SkillsFuture training subsidies last year.

They used schemes such as SkillFuture Study Awards, which are for workers to deepen their capabilities in key sectors, and SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy, which funds up to 90 per cent of course fees for SSG-funded courses.

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