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Over 247,000 Singaporeans used SkillsFuture credits in 2021 — up 31% from 2020

SINGAPORE — More than 247,000 Singaporeans used their SkillsFuture credits to upskill themselves last year. This was an increase of 31 per cent from 188,000 the year before. 

Over 247,000 Singaporeans used SkillsFuture credits in 2021 — up 31% from 2020

Around 660,000 people upskilled themselves in 2021 through programmes supported by national skills agency SkillsFuture Singapore.

SINGAPORE — More than 247,000 Singaporeans used their SkillsFuture credits to upskill themselves last year. This was an increase of 31 per cent from 188,000 the year before. 

It was also the highest yearly uptake since the national lifelong learning movement started in 2015, the national skills authority SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) said on Tuesday (Feb 8).

In all, a record 660,000 people upskilled themselves last year through programmes supported by SSG. 

This figure is up from 465,000 people in 2018, 500,000 in 2019 and 540,000 in 2020. 

SKILLSFUTURE CREDITS

Those who used their SkillsFuture credits last year took part in long-form courses as well as bite-sized training programmes. 

Asked if the increase last year was within expectations, Mr Tan Kok Yam, chief executive officer of SSG, said that the pandemic had been a catalyst for people to upskill and use their credits.

“So we are happy with the numbers,” he said. 

Singaporeans aged 25 and older received S$500 in credits from 2016.

In 2020, the Government gave citizens aged 25 years and older a one-off S$500 top-up, which expires at the end of 2025. The credits can be used to offset fees for a range of courses. 

Although the uptake of programmes supported by SSG has been climbing steadily, there remains a sizeable segment of the population that has not taken steps to enhance their skills. 

On the agency’s plans to reach out to those who might be averse to upskilling, Mr Tan said that there was no silver bullet.

Employers must be invested in workplace learning and their employees’ training needs. 

“When we get enough employers on board, and enough employers to recognise that skills are valuable for the workplace, I think the needle will shift,” he said. 

Learners, for their part, will also come to see the value of upskilling. “Singaporeans are very smart. They know what’s of value and what’s not, so I think they’ll adjust,” Mr Tan added.

Here is how other SSG programmes fared in 2021: 

Work-study programmes 

  • These programmes allowed people to gain experience in the sectors for which they were trained while pursuing qualifications recognised by the industry
  • Nearly 1,700 people took part in these programmes last year — similar to 2020
  • There were about 650 participating firms — up from 590 in 2020

SkillsFuture Series courses 

  • These short industry-relevant programmes focused on emerging skills in eight areas: Data analytics, finance, technology-enabled services, digital media, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship, advanced manufacturing, and urban solutions
  • More than 30,000 people took up these courses last year — down from more than 36,000 in 2020

Enterprise involvement

  • A total of 24,000 firms took part in programmes supported by SSG in 2021, compared with 14,000 in 2020
  • For instance, more than 10,000 companies used their SkillsFuture enterprise credit in 2021 to enrol their employees for training. Companies are given a one-off S$10,000 credit to transform their enterprises and workforce

Related topics

SkillsFuture Singapore SkillsFuture employers training workplace

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