Introduced in Budget 2015, SkillsFuture is a government initative that aims to encourage lifelong learning among all adult Singaporeans in order to ensure that our population continuously develop the necessary capabilities to remain relevant in our working world.
As of 1 January 2016, all Singaporeans of the age of 25 and above will receive $500 in SkillsFuture credit. Subsequent cohorts of Singaporeans who turn 25 will likewise receive $500 in SkillsFuture credits.
Similar to the ActiveSG credits, where we all receive $100 in credits that allows us to pay for admission to public swimming pools and gyms, SkillsFuture credits are given to each Singaporeans, regardless of whether or not they actually end up using the credits.
A misconception is that SkillsFuture courses are only relevant to working adults, and that non-working adults shouldn’t bother about it since there is no real impetus for them to keep upgrading themselves if they don’t intend to work.
However, this doesn’t means retirees and homemakers should just leave their SkillsFuture credit unused. In fact, even if you have no intention of working, there are still many courses that you can attend which may of interest to you.
Here are our top 5 types of courses to sign up for.
#1 Culinary Courses
Most retirees and homemakers have the time to be able to cook often. They can try out different cuisine or methods of cooking that they have never tried before.
If you are someone that cook relatively often, one of the best ways to utilise your SkillsFuture credits would be to sign up for a cooking class.
Depending on your interest, there are hundreds of F&B courses that you can sign up for. These include Japanese cooking classess so that you can learn how to cook your favorite rice bowls and tempura, Korean cooking classes, Thai cooking classes as well as local classes that teaches you to how to make local cuisine.
Most of these courses will cost about $250 or less so you could even sign up for multiple classes without having to pay a single dollar.
#2 Gardening Courses
If one of your hobbies is to grow your own mini-garden, you can consider signing up for some of the gardening courses offered under SkillsFuture.
There are a few types of classes you can consider. If you want nice beautiful flowers within your home or at your doorstep, you can consider signing up for flowering plants workshop which would teach you how to grow your own flowers. If you are feeling more adventureous and want to grow your own organic herbs and spices for your own family consumption, you can also sign up for a gardening class that teaches you how to grow your own edible plants at home.
Most of these classes are one-day workshops which cost $200 or less. So they are a good first step for those who want to get started on the basic.
#3 Pet Grooming
Dogs are increasingly becoming common in many Singapore households. If you are a homemaker or retiree, there is a good probability that having to care for a pet dog could be one of your daily responsibilities.
If you want to become better in caring for your pet needs, you can sign up for a Basic Pet Groomer: Dog class. This one-day class will teach useful things such as basic first aid for canine and other grooming techniques such as bathing, drying and nail clipping for your pet dog.
#4 Health and Fitness Courses
Regardless of all ages, exercising right is important in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
SkillsFuture allows you to enroll yourself in courses such as a Health and Fitness: Fundamental Physical Condition offered by ITE. This workshop teaches participants the fundamentals of health and fitness that people should know about such as having a diet and fitness training plan. It also teaches on the common type of sports injuries that one should look out for.
There will also be group fitness classes conducted during this one-day workshop.
#5 Language Courses
Last but certainly not least, you can consider signing up for any language courses that you wish to pick up on. Popular classes would include Japanese classes, Chinese classes and Bahasa Indonesia . Most of these classes will be over an extended period of days, giving you the time to practise what you have learnt in between the classes.
Reasons for picking up the language classes could include wanting to communicate better with your domestic helper, speaking a language in which you travel often to the country and of course, purely out of interest.
Learning Can Be Simply For Fun
In Singapore, we are guilty of constantly associating learning with being able to become a better worker, or to become more employable and to earn a higher salary in the future.
However, to learn something doesn’t always require an ulterior motive. Just like visiting the library to pick up an interesting book to read, Singaporeans should consider signing up for these courses using their SkillsFuture credits as long as it teaches them something useful that they would already be interested to learn more about.