This article was first published on 1 October 2020 and has been updated.
As Singapore’s and the global economy attempts to recover in 2021, the focus will still be very much on jobs and skills. To save jobs, to redesign jobs as well as to upskill employees to keep jobs and to ensure companies digitalise to offer more relevant jobs.
During the first of the four budgets delivered in 2020, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance, Heng Swee Keat, announced the Next Bound of SkillsFuture. For Singaporeans, this means a one-off SkillsFuture credit top-up of $500. Unlike the initial SkillFuture top-ups, this SkillsFuture top-ups expire in five years’ time – on 31 December 2025.
The government also gives SkillsFuture credits to employers via the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)
What Is The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)?
While SkillsFuture credits go individuals, the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) goes to – as its name suggests – enterprises. This is meant to encourage employers to invest in the transformation of 1) the enterprise and 2) its workforce.
Eligible employers will receive a one-off $10,000 credit to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses on qualifying costs for supportable initiatives. This will be on top of the support levels of existing schemes, which can already be quite substantial.
How Employers Can Benefit From The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit?
For example, an employer applies for the Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) to automate certain business processes. The cost of the equipment adds up to $20,000.
Under the Productivity Solutions Grant, the employer can already receive up to 80% funding for eligible expenses. This 80% funding itself is currently enhanced till 30 September 2021, from 70% previously. This means the employer will be able to claim up to $16,000 when they spend $20,000 on eligible expenses.
This leaves $4,000 as out-of-pocket expenses. This is where the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) comes into play, covering up to 90% of your out-of-pocket expenses. Which means employers will be able to claim $3,600 (90% of $4,000) – leaving a final out-of-pocket expense at $400.
|Utilising The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)|
|Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG) Funding||-$16,000 (up to 80% of eligible expenses)|
|SkillSsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) Funding||-$3,600(up to 90% of eligible out-of-pocket expenses)|
|Final Out-Of-Pocket Cost||$400|
Read Also: Guide To Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)
As the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) replaced the older Productivity Solutions Grant (SkillsFuture Training Subsidy) (PSG (SFTS)) scheme from 29 February 2020.
#1 Enterprise Transformation (up to $7,000)
Under the enterprise transformation component, companies will be able to use up to $7,000 of the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits. What this means is that a minimum of $3,000 must be allocated to workforce transformation.
The list of supportable programmes for Enterprise Transformation can be found on the Business Grant Portal. They include:
|1. Enterprise Development Grant (EDG)||Enterprise Singapore (ESG)|
|2. Enterprise Leadership for Transformation Programme (ELT)||Enterprise Singapore (ESG)|
|3. Market Readiness Assistance (MRA)||Enterprise Singapore (ESG)|
|4. Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)||Enterprise Singapore (ESG), Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Building and Construction Authority (BCA), National Environment Agency (NEA), Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)|
|5. Business Improvement Fund (BIF)||Singapore Tourism Board (STB)|
|6. Aviation Development Fund (ADF)||From Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS)|
#2 Workforce Transformation
To encourage employers to train and upskill their employees, a minimum of $3,000 (and a maximum of $10,000) of the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits must be utilised towards workforce transformation programmes.
The list of supportable programmes for Workforce Transformation include:
|1. Skills Framework-aligned Courses (in support of the Industry Transformation Maps)||SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG)|
|2. Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) (course fee expenses only)||Workforce Singapore (WSG)|
|3. Rank-and-File-and-Train Programmes (course fee expenses only)||Workforce Singapore (WSG)|
|4. Support for job Redesign consultancy under Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG-JR)||Workforce Singapore (WSG)|
|5. Job Redesign initiative (e.g. i4.0 Human Capital Initiative for Manufacturing Sector, Service Industry Transformation Programme for the Services sector)||Workforce Singapore (WSG)|
|6. Training Industry Professionals in Tourism (TIP-iT)||Singapore Tourism Board (STB)|
Is Your Company Eligible For SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits (SFEC)?
There is no need to apply for the SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits (SFEC). Eligible employers that qualify notified by Enterprise Singapore (ESG) in writing.
To be eligible, employers need to meet the following conditions:
- Have contributed at least $750 in Skills Development Levy over the qualifying period. There are four qualifying periods (note that all four has passed):
- 1 April 2019 – 31 March 2020
- 1 July 2019 – 30 June 2020
- 1 October 2019 – 30 September 2020
- 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020
- Have employed at least three Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents every month over the same period
- Have not been qualified at any of the earlier periods
If you have qualified in one of the qualifying periods, there is no need to continue requiring to qualify. No further eligibility checks will be conducted.
Employers will be able to start applying for supported programmes from 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2023. Companies will receive reimbursement from 1 April 2021. Final claims need to be submitted by 30 June 2025.
Need Financing Support During This Period?
From now till 31 March 2021, SMEs can enjoy extra financing support of up to $5 million through the Temporary Bridging Loan Programme.
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