More individuals and enterprises involved in lifelong learning

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

About 660,000 individuals upskilled themselves through SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)-supported programmes in 2021. This was the highest number of SSG-supported individuals in a year since the launch of SkillsFuture.

Extension of COVID-19 support measures

In 2021, SSG extended COVID-19 support measures to help individuals and enterprises emerge stronger from the pandemic and prepare themselves for the future economy.

As part of the national SGUnited Jobs and Skills Package, SSG extended the SGUnited Skills Programme and the SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Programme – Company Training till 31 March 2022. Both programmes support individuals in acquiring industry-relevant skills that pave the way to new job opportunities.

In 2021, over 12,000 training opportunities under these two programmes were taken up.

The Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) was also extended to 31 December 2021. The ETSP provided enhanced absentee payroll for enterprises who sent their employees for eligible training programmes. On top of this, ETSP also provided a higher level of course fee subsidy for enterprises from eight sectors1 that require more help during the pandemic. In 2021, over 91,000 training places under ETSP were taken up.

Greater engagement in lifelong learning

More individuals and enterprises were engaged in lifelong learning, as more than 247,000 Singaporeans used their SkillsFuture Credit in 2021 to offset their course fees, an increase from some 188,000 Singaporeans in 2020.

Individuals engaged in long-form courses as well as shorter, bite-sized training to equip themselves with industry-relevant skills or to deepen their skills sets. More than 30,000 individuals took SkillsFuture Series courses in 2021, which allowed trainees to acquire priority and emerging skills in areas such as Data Analytics and Tech-Enabled Services.

SkillsFuture Work-Study programmes provided opportunities for individuals to gain working and industry experience in the sectors they were trained in, while pursing industry recognised qualifications. About 650 companies and close to 1,700 individuals participated in SkillsFuture Work-Study programmes in 2021.

Promoting enterprise involvement and workplace learning

The close involvement of enterprises in employee training ensures that the learning is relevant and beneficial to both the business and the employee. To this end, SSG has ramped up its enterprise engagement efforts in 2021. 24,000 enterprises participated in SSG-supported programmes, as compared to 14,000 enterprises in 2020.

Over 10,000 enterprises have used the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit in 2021 to send their employees for training supported by SSG. Over 960 enterprises made use of the National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) in 2021 to build workplace learning capabilities to develop their workforce, a fourfold increase from about 180 enterprises in 2020. Participation in the SkillsFuture Queen Bee initiative also doubled in 2021 with about 500 enterprises tapping on the expertise of industry leaders to enhance their employee skills development.

Building the skills-based ecosystem

SSG launched the inaugural Skills Demand for the Future Economy Report in 2021. This report spotlights priority skills in three growth areas – the Digital Economy, the Green Economy and the Care Economy; as well as the relevant job opportunities and courses. The aim is to encourage and guide learners, enterprises and training providers to invest more in these priority skills.

Mr Tan Kok Yam, Chief Executive of SSG, said: “SSG has involved more Singaporeans and enterprises in lifelong learning, amid implementing the COVID-19 support measures. Alongside greater participation and access, we will also raise the quality, rigour and relevance of adult education, so that our workforce and our businesses can be future-ready.

“To this end, we will build on the partnership we have with learners, enterprises and the training providers; as well as foster a collective understanding of the relevance and value of skills.”