Last Updated on 2016-09-23 , 4:19 pm
Are you over the age of 25 and a Singaporean? If you are, you’ll most probably be receiving $500 credit injection into your SkillsFuture account, applicable for use in subsidizing any courses you would want to go to develop new and relevant skills to your career development. So, what exactly is SkillsFuture, and what is the hype all about, really?
Here’s everything you need to know about SkillsFuture and more, because if you don’t, you’re really going to lose out.
So what is SkillsFuture?
It’s a national movement, a program that encompass the entire country, and when we say nationwide, we mean nationwide. SkillsFuture cater to everybody at all stages of life, from Primary School to Employees who are in their mid-careers. SkillsFuture aims to equip Singaporeans with the resources required to reach their full potential in life, no matter if they’re degree holders, ITE or Diploma grads. There’s something for everybody, and the objective of this movement is to equip you with skills mastery.
What is the movement all about?
SkillsFuture focuses on four different aspects to achieve the aim of equipping you with the mindset of lifelong learning and skills mastery – from helping you make informed decisions, setting up a system of education and training that evolves according to changes in the environment, promote recognition based on skills and not just qualifications, to creating a culture of lifelong learning.
Education & Career Guidance (ECG) in Schools
One essential aspect of SkillsFuture, at least in our opinion, is information. We might have the drive to learn new things, or the resources to chase after whatever catches our fancy, but we never got started because we just don’t know what to go for. The ECG help students to understand and figure out the type of careers they want to go into, then plan out their education in achieving their dream jobs. How many of us studied blindly, only to regret dearly when we joined the workforce because we didn’t know what we want to do in the future?
Enhanced Internships & SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme
Before, fresh grads came out of school asking for pittance in starting pay, and they find that things they’ve learned in schools are pretty much obsolete. With the enhanced internships, students from Polytechnics and ITEs will be given meaningful work assignments, instead of what is going on now where only a rare few get to truly experience the industry while the rest are usually taken up and given menial work, and help equip them with the necessary soft and technical skills when they graduate.
In addition, with SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme, fresh grads from Polytechnic and ITE are placed with an employer and embark on structured training and coursework while earning a pay. This ensures that they are well-trained and equipped with the necessary skills to survive in the industry.
Individual Learning Portfolio (ILP)
The ILP serves as a one-stop portal for career and education guidance for all Singaporeans to manage and track their career, education and training. This portal empowers you with the choice and freedom to make informed choices about the development of your career path and depending on where you are right now (i.e. student, early career, mid career), can provide a myriad of resource like identifying skill gaps, understanding requirements of getting into your dream job and identify skills to develop to progress in your field. No more stumbling around, waiting for employers to send you for courses which teaches you skills that are not transferable.
Enhanced Place-and-Train Programme (P-Max)
Similar to the SkillsFuture Earn and Learn Programme for Polytechnic and ITE fresh grads, P-Max matches SMEs looking for PMEs with PMEs who are looking to work in SMEs. Both SMEs and PMEs will undergo training, and if the SME successfully retain the PME in the programme, a one-time grant of S$5,000 will be given to the company.
And now, we’ve come to the most important part of the article – the S$500 credit in your SkillsFuture account. The amount credited will not expire, and the government will top up the account periodically so you can let the credit roll over until you find a course you like. From what we saw on the website, there seems to be a pretty huge number of courses available for you to either develop skills that’s critical to career progression within your company, or skills that are transferable and make you more competitive in the job market. You can check out the full list of courses available here.
And that’s not all. It’s the tip of the iceberg actually, and there’s interesting things like bond-free study awards and Fellowships, and even Leadership development. To learn more about SkillsFuture and their initiatives, you can visit their website to check out more details.
If you do, you’ll most probably find yourself awed at the amount of resources available for Singaporeans to develop themselves, making themselves more competitive in the market. We’ve written about how many of us are losing out because we’ve stagnate and stopped developing after we get out of school. If you feel the same way we do, then chances are this is one resource you definitely won’t want to miss out on.
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