Ever wondered how people can afford taking courses worth thousands when they are students, NSFs, or even unemployed? You've come to the right place. Here's how Singaporeans are making use of government funding to upskill themselves and future-proof their careers.
Yes, you read that right. The government and some institutions are providing reimbursements for you to gain a new tech skill, be it data analytics, machine learning, game development, or cloud computing. This is because such skills have been identified as essential for the employee of the digital age. Read more to find out what subsidies you are eligible for!
For all Singaporeans and PRs
IMDA and SkillsFuture Singapore TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) contains corporate and public programmes encouraging Singaporeans and PRs to upskill themselves with tech skills of the future.
One of the programmes that funds tech courses is Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus (CITREP+). Singaporeans and PRs are eligible for a 70 to 100% reimbursement of the course fee if the following requirements are met:
- at least 75% attendance
- successful completion of the course (e.g. passing the exam, project components, etc)
This also means that upfront payment is required before the course commences - a requirement for most of the subsidy programmes listed below.
The benefit of CITREP+ is that you can get reimbursed for as many eligible courses as you want*, including both full and part-time courses, as long as they are not duplicate courses.
Only for Singaporeans
Another well-known programme is SkillsFuture Credit. Singaporeans aged 25 and above have $500 in SkillsFuture Credit that can be used for eligible SkillsFuture courses. From April 2020 to December 2025, an additional $500 to $1,000 in SkillsFuture Credit will also be given to all eligible Singaporeans. Only self-sponsored learners can use their credits for the courses.
If you are 25 this year, you can only use your credits after receiving the letter from SkillsFuture Singapore. This will usually be in the first quarter of the year.
You may have also heard of the Workfare Training Support (WTS) Scheme, which targets Singaporeans who meet the following criteria:
1. Aged 35 or above (or Persons with Disabilities aged 13 or above), and
3. Earn an average gross monthly income of not more than $2000 for the months worked
To be eligible for WTS, you must have received a letter from Workfare Singapore and must meet the attendance and completion requirements. Under WTS, you could be eligible for up to 95% subsidies and training allowance for eligible courses.
Open to All (Conditions Apply)
NTUC members can make use of NTUC Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) to offset up to 50% (max. $250) of their course fees per year. Similar to the other programmes, members must complete the attendance and completion requirement of eligible UTAP courses before obtaining their reimbursement.
These funding programmes are released at the discretion of the government and respective companies and can be stopped at any time. Make the best of what's available to you today, and upskill yourself while the programme is still running!
*accurate as of March 2020
Edited to change the SkillsFuture Credit Top Up date from October 2020 to April 2020 following the government's announcement on 26 March 2020.