19 Aug 2022

Want to Upskill but Lacking in Funds? Don’t let that hold you back!

Maybe your office has shifted to a hybrid system, maybe you’ve finally gotten to a stable place in your job, or maybe your boss has been implying that your skills need updating. You start using your free time to browse through part-time degrees, training courses, and the webinar ads that pop up on your Instagram feed. (Be sure to look through Jobscentral Learning as well.)
But while a webinar here or there may be free, most of these learning opportunities come with associated costs. Should you spend $30 a day for a coding bootcamp, or splash out a few thousand on a degree? You wonder as you draw up excel sheets and tap on your calculator.
Wait! Before all that, explore your funding options first! Check through:

  1. SkillsFuture Credit
As most know, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above received an opening credit of S$500 claimable for a wide range of SkillsFuture Credit-eligible courses. These were further added on to in a one-off SkillsFuture Credit top-up of $500 to every Singapore Citizen aged 25 years and above as at 31 December 2020, expiring 31 December 2025.
However, there are many other credit schemes available under this banner. For example, the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy for Singaporeans aged 40 years old and above enables them to receive higher subsidies of up to 90% of course fees for SSG-supported courses, and at least 90% of programme cost for MOE-subsidised full-time and part-time courses.
  1. Company Sponsorship
If your course or training is relevant to your work, it never hurts to ask your company if they can help defray the costs. Some companies have funds earmarked for employee development, or initiatives already in place for learning.
SkillsFuture also offers Course Fee and Absentee Payroll Funding for employers who sponsor employees for training.
  1. Course provider subsidies
This is especially true for universities and other institutes of higher learning. These tend to have in-house subsidies available for mid-career professionals, older learners, or those with special needs.
Good academic performance can also help defray costs in the form of scholarships and awards. So when you plan to study, study hard!
  1.  Union Training Assistance Programme
Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) is a training benefit for all NTUC Members to defray the cost of skills upgrading.
NTUC members, of which most of us are, can claim up to $250 per calendar year or up to 50% of unfunded course fees on eligible courses. The benefits also stack for different demographics. For example, NTUC members aged 40 and above can enjoy higher funding support up to $500 per individual each year, capped at 50% of unfunded course fees.
Beyond these, there are many other funding schemes and grants available. So before you tap into your wallet, explore all your options first!