Singapore SMEs to get up to $10,000 training subsidies for Employee training and upskilling

Singapore – 28 June 2019 SINGAPORE companies will be able to get more support in upgrading their workers' skills from 1 July 2019. This was announced at the launch of SkillsFuture Festival by Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Trade and Industry, Mr Chee Hong Tat.

Under the enhanced Productivity Solutions Grant SkillsFuture Training Subsidy [PG(SFTS)], each firm will be awarded up to $10,000 to cover 70 per cent of out-of-pocket training expenses.

The grant will help companies, especially Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), to upskill their workforce, in tandem with their efforts to enhance business processes and improve productivity.

Firms will need to submit their training plans for evaluation and approval by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

Training and skills Upgrading ‘critical elements’ of future-proofing business

Mr Chee also said that training and skills upgrading are “critical elements” of future-proofing a business, yet he noted that while more employers are investing in training their workers, the progress so far has been uneven.

"For our broad middle-tier of SMEs to upgrade their capabilities and enhance their competitiveness, we have to do better when it comes to worker training. Otherwise, the skills gap could become a bottleneck that limits economic competitiveness."

“The SkillsFuture Festival, which is in its second edition, will run for six weeks and aims to reach out to over 200,000 visitors. Activities such as workshops will be held at places such as NUS and business hubs near Westgate and Changi City Point.

Reduced Compliance Costs For Training Providers

Mr Chee also said that SSG will be making some changes later this year to reduce compliance costs for training providers and make it more convenient for them to seek regulatory approvals. The number of regulatory fees for private education institutions will be cut down from nine to three, with an annual cost saving of $380 to $640 for each provider.

SSG will also simplify the licensing process for providers who offer both WSQ and private education programmes. It will also reduce the cost incurred by WSQ training providers in issuing e-certificates, an effort since 2014.

Mr Chee said that so far, the certificate fee has gone down from $2.60 to $1.20. He added that SSG will further reduce this, and savings can be passed down to training providers and students.

Emphasising the need for companies to prioritise worker training, Mr Chee said: “As companies restructure and transform with technology, they should also build capabilities in their workers to help them move up the value chain.

Transformation must be ‘technology driven, people led’.
“Using technology alone is not adequate if the workers are not trained to optimise these tools. If we do it well, enterprise transformation should result in higher profits for the company and higher pay for our workers – a win-win outcome.”