SkillsFuture to lower costs for training providers

SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) is reducing costs such as regulatory fees for the training providers it funds.

These providers include private education institutions, which can offer both government-approved Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) and non-WSQ programmes. At the same time, SSG will also be increasing scrutiny on non-WSQ programmes, in a bid to regulate the overall quality of training provided.

These initiatives were announced by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education, Mr Chee Hong Tat, yesterday. He was speaking to the media during a visit to the Textile and Fashion Training Centre - the training arm of the industry association for textile and fashion - in Tiong Bahru.

Mr Chee said: "What we want to do is look at how we can simplify the rules and regulations. By doing so, we can streamline some of the requirements and pass through some of the cost savings to companies."

The number of regulatory fees for private education institutions will be cut from nine to three, with an annual cost saving of $380 to $640 for each provider. The three application fees they will still have to pay, when they seek approval to run new courses, are: issuance of registration, renewal of registration and course permission.

SSG will also simplify processes for training providers that offer WSQ programmes.

For example, a new compliance and performance-focused training provider management system will replace the biennial Continuous Improvement Review process. This will translate into savings of $1,605 for WSQ training providers every two years.

 
 
 

Mr Chee said that the cost savings will not be due to subsidies. "The savings can be passed through to the private education institutions and the training providers," he said. "They can devote more resources to developing their curriculum, investing in their training systems for the benefit of their customers."

But, to raise the overall quality of the training and adult education sector, SSG will also introduce new fees for training providers who do not offer WSQ programmes.

From July 1, new non-WSQ training providers will have to pay SSG a one-off $21.40 registration fee. All training providers applying for funding for non-WSQ courses will also have to pay SSG $107 for each course they offer, to ensure they are relevant to the industry.

SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong said: "SSG is continuing to strengthen the regulatory system, while taking steps to reduce compliance costs and regulatory processes to support training providers in meeting the needs of the different industries."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 13, 2019, with the headline 'SkillsFuture to lower costs for training providers'. Print Edition | Subscribe