Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post.
Do you want to progress in your career, but first need to improve your skills further?
Are you considering a career switch, but don’t yet have the relevant skills required?
Or do you have an interest/hobby that you wish to dive deeper into?
If any of the above questions are relevant to you, then this post is for you.
Today, I’ll tell you how you can upskill yourself through professionally certified courses at heavily subsidised rates or even for free with SkillsFuture.
SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) is a government movement to promote lifelong learning through the pursuit of skills mastery.
This is achieved through the following initiatives:
- SSG course fee funding, and
- SkillsFuture Credits (SFC).
Through SSG, educational institutes, training institutes, and private corporations can set up training courses and list them on the MySkillsFuture portal.
Individuals who wish to upskill themselves can search and sign up for the courses of their interest.
The course fees can be subsidised via the SSG course fee funding, and the balance payable can be claimed via SFC.
The amount of subsidy that can be claimed varies between courses and individuals.
Depending on the subsidy amount and your SFC balance, it’s possible to have the entire course fee paid for, making the course effectively free.
1: SSG Course Fee Funding
The SSG course fee funding applies to self-sponsored individuals, ie if you are paying for the course fees yourself and not via your company.
Only Singapore Citizens (SC) or Permanent Residents (PR) are eligible for the course fee funding.
Depending on which category you fall under, you can receive funding of up to 95% of the course fees.
Here is a table summarising the eligibility criteria and funding amount:
|Courses offered by SSG-appointed CET Centres||Funding |
|Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent|
|Up to 70% |
|SCs aged ≥ 40 years old (SkillsFuture Mid-career |
|Up to 90% |
|Persons With Disabilities (PwDs) – SCs and PRs |
(Only for eligible courses supported by SG Enable.
For more information on Skills and Training Support
for PwDs, please refer to Enabling Academy by SG
|Up to 95% |
|Certifiable courses||Funding |
|SCs and PRs (Self-sponsored individuals must be|
at least 21 years old)
|Up to 50% |
|SCs aged ≥ 40 years old (SkillsFuture Mid-career|
|Up to 70% |
It should be noted that the SSG course fee funding is usually awarded conditionally, based on meeting pre-defined criteria relating to course attendance and assessment.
Should you fail to meet these criteria during the course, you might be liable to pay back the funding amount.
2: SkillsFuture Credits
SFC is essentially an allowance given by the government to spend on approved skills-related courses, which include:
- Courses subsidised or approved by SSG including online courses
- Selected courses offered by Ministry of Education (MOE)-funded institutions
- Courses supported by public agencies
- SkillsFuture@PA courses offered by the People’s Association, courses offered by the Infocommunications Media Development Authority of Singapore (IMDA)’s Silver Infocomm Junctions and selected courses under the National Silver Academy.
As mentioned earlier, SFC can be used on top of government course subsidies, such as the SSG course fee funding.
SFC cannot be withdrawn or refunded for cash, so the only way to use it is to spend it on courses.
Unlike SSG course fee funding, only Singaporeans are eligible for SFC.
Any Singaporean aged 25 years and above will automatically receive S$500 worth of SFC that does not expire.
There were 2 instances when the government provided top-ups of SFC worth S$500 each:
- SFC Top-Up: for Singaporeans who were 25 years or above as of 31 Dec 2020
- Additional SFC (Mid-Career Support): for Singaporeans who were 40 – 60 years old as of 31 Dec 2020
The SFC from these 2 top-ups can be used normally as per the S$500 that is available to all eligible Singaporeans but has an expiry date of 31 Dec 2025.
So, the highest amount of SFC an individual could have is S$1,500 – if they were eligible for both rounds of top-ups in 2020.
How To Claim SSG Subsidy & SkillsFuture Credits
Now that we know what SSG is and the 2 ways we can offset course fees, let’s take a look at the process for claiming the SSG subsidy and SFC when signing up for a course.
1: Search for courses on MySkillsFuture
First, log in to the MySkillsFuture portal and search for a course that you’d like to sign up for.
You can search by entering keywords or by industry.
Chances are that multiple courses are being offered by various course organisers for the same certification/skill training.
If there’s a particular institution or course organiser that you’d like to sign up under, you can keep a look out for those.
Here are some other course details that are important to check before signing up for the course:
- course dates & duration
- online or in-person
- course requirements
As mentioned earlier, the SSG course fee funding is usually conditional on completing the course successfully, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re able to commit sufficient time to the course.
2: Register your interest in the course
Once you’ve identified a course that you want to sign up for, you can register your interest in the course.
On the course page in the MySkillsFuture portal, there will usually be some instructions on how to register.
This might include filling up a contact form or accessing the course provider’s website and filling up a form there.
Then, a representative from the course provider will reach out to you to confirm the availability of the course.
You can also take this opportunity to ask about the SSG course fee funding amount if you’re unsure how much subsidy is available.
3: Check and Claim SkillsFuture Credits
After the course provider has confirmed your registration, they will request for you to make payment – this is when you can make a claim from your SFC.
Note that you need to receive a soft copy of the official invoice/receipt from the course provider before you can submit a claim.
To submit a claim, log in to the MySkillsFuture portal.
Navigate to Access E-Services > Check and Claim SkillsFuture Credit.
At the top of the page, you should see your available SFC that can be used.
Under Submit A Claim, you should see the course(s) that you’ve registered for.
Select the course(s) you wish to claim your SFC for and fill in the details as necessary.
Note that the amount payable should be the course fee after any SSG subsidy – this amount will be deducted from your SFC balance.
If your SFC balance is insufficient, then you will need to pay the difference in cash or make a further claim from your Post Secondary Education Account (PSEA).
Once you have submitted the claim, it should be approved within a few days.
All that’s left to do is to actually attend the course and pass it so that any SSG subsidy you claim will not be clawed back from you.
If you’re looking to pick up a new skill or delve deeper into an interest, taking advantage of the SSG subsidies and SFC can help you do so affordably.
These are free benefits that Singaporeans and PRs are entitled to, so make the best of it!
There are many courses to choose from in the MySkillsFuture portal, so you’ll definitely be able to find something that interests you.
Have you used your SkillsFuture Credits? What new skill did you learn? Let me know in the comments below!