askST: How can I make use of my SkillsFuture credits?

North West SkillsFuture Marketplace offered 450 jobs and upskilling opportunities in October.
North West SkillsFuture Marketplace offered 450 jobs and upskilling opportunities in October.PHOTO: NORTH WEST CDC

SINGAPORE - Introduced in 2015, the SkillsFuture national movement aims to build a culture of skills development and lifelong learning.

All Singaporeans aged 25 and above receive an opening credit of $500, to encourage individuals to take ownership of their learning.

Singaporeans aged 25 and above as of Dec 31 this year will also receive an additional one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up of $500, to further encourage them to take timely action to reskill and upskill. This extra credit, if unused, will expire on Dec 31, 2025.

On top of this, Singaporeans aged 40 to 60 (inclusive) as of Dec 31 this year will get another $500 in credits to improve their access to career transition programmes. This credit will also expire in five years' time.

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the scheme.

1. Can I use my SkillsFuture Credit for any course that I want, including those not related to my current job?

A: Yes. Opening credits and the SkillsFuture Credit top-up can be used on top of existing Government course subsidies to pay for a range of skills-related courses.

These include elected courses offered by the Ministry of Education-funded institutions such as the Institute of Technical Education, polytechnics and autonomous universities.

2. If I am unemployed, can I use my SkillsFuture Credit to offset course fees for both the SGUnited Skills and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways programmes?

A: Yes, trainees may use it offset the nett course fees once they are enrolled. These fees range from $500 for a 6-month programme to $1,000 for a 12-month programme.

Fees have been kept affordable as the programmes are targeted at unemployed individuals, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) said.

In most cases, government subsidies for these courses will cover more than 95 per cent of the course fees.

3. What kind of courses are suitable for seniors?

A: Seniors can consider using their SkillsFuture Credit on SkillsFuture courses offered by People's Association, or courses offered by Infocomm Media Development Authority's Silver Infocomm Junctions, as well as selected courses under the National Silver Academy.

Seniors who are interested in picking up basic digital literacy skills can also consider using their SkillsFuture Credit on the SkillsFuture for Digital Workplace programme.

Under this programme, they can learn about emerging technologies and how they impact work, as well as learn to interpret and use data, and adopt a positive mindset for change, innovation and resilience.

4. Can I use my SkillsFuture Credit to co-fund the course fees of training that my employer will be sending me for?

A: No. The SkillsFuture Credit supports individual-initiated training.

It is not intended to pay for training provided by employers, which should continue to be borne by employers, SSG said.

It added that it has been supporting employers' training efforts through substantial subsidies provided for such employer-supported training.

5. The course I am interested in is not SkillsFuture Credit-eligible. How can I appeal for the course to be eligible for SkillsFuture Credit?

A: The SkillsFuture Credit can only be used for skills-related courses "with clear and relevant training outcomes", said SSG.

Individuals may approach the Training Provider to consider submitting the course to be approved for use with the SkillsFuture Credit and the SkillsFuture Credit top-up, subject to the eligibility criteria.