As Singapore’s employment market continues to be uncertain with retrenchments hitting record numbers, the government has been actively supporting local employment through schemes such as Jobs Growth Incentive. While we have covered the SGUnited Traineeships and Mid-Career Pathways previously, the SGUnited Skills Programme is another potential avenue that job seekers can turn to.
Under the SGUnited Skills Programme, the government has promised 20,000 jobseekers in 2020. This is in addition to the support for 21,000 SGUnited traineeships and 14,500 SGUnited midcareer traineeships and training opportunities.
Here’s a guide to the SGUnited Skills Programme and how you can upskill yourself while receiving a training allowance.
What Is the SGUnited Skills Programme?
The SGUnited Skills Programme is a full-time modular training programme ranging from six to 12 months that would help trainees gain certifiable skills that would enhance their employment prospects.
The courses under SGUnited Skills Programme are certifiable courses run by training providers, mainly the universities, polytechnics and ITE. In addition to the course content, trainees would also be given opportunities for workplace immersion and industry projects, as well as employment facilitation by the training provider.
You can use your SkillsFuture credits to offset the course fee. Trainees are also given a training allowance of $1,200 per month during the duration of the course.
Additionally, the SGUnited Skills Programme, SGUnited Traineeships and SGUnited Midcareer Pathways are all mutually exclusive. This means if you have enrolled in one of these SGUnited programmes, you are no longer eligible for the benefits of the other two programmes. As the intention is always to support jobseekers to find jobs, the exclusion makes sense as it would prevent people from continually receiving the training allowances instead of actively looking for a job.
You Can Get Certified For Courses In Key Industries
The SGUnited Skills Programme ties in closely with the SkillsFuture Framework which outlines the possible career pathways within an industry sector.
As of writing, there are 15 industries listed on the SkillsFuture website for SGUnited Skills Programme.
You can take a SGUnited Skills course to gain entry-level knowledge, skills and certification to enter an industry sector.
Taking the example of Infocomm Technology (ICT) and media, you can apply for:
- Associate Project Manager / Scrum Master
- Associate Data Analyst
- Up-Skill in Business Analytics
- Associate UI/UX Designer
- Up-Skill in ICT Systems, Services & Support
These courses will allow you to gain a foothold into the ICT and media career pathways.
If You Find A Job Halfway, You Are Not Penalised For Not Completing The Course
As the intent of SGUnited is to support job seekers find employment through upskilling, the courses are designed to be modular such as trainees can exit the programme mid-way through their training if they find a job.
There is no penalty if you exit because you have been placed into a job (through the programme) or find a job on your own during the training period.
However, you may be asked to return the course fee subsidy if you exit the programme without a valid reason.
Can You Receive The Training Allowance If You Are Already Receiving Government Support?
If you are receiving the COVID-19 Support Grant (CSG) or the Self-Employed Person Income Relief Scheme (SIRS), you will receive top-ups to your CSG/SIRS payouts, instead of the full training allowance. CSG recipients will receive a top-up of $400 and SIRS recipients will receive a top-up of $200. They will receive the SGUnited Skills training allowance of $1,200 after those payouts are completed.
SGUnited Skills Is Better Suited If You Are Starting In A New Industry At Entry-Level
Given that the SGUnited Skills courses are designed to be modular and relatively short (6 to 12 months), they are not a substitute for formal education or sufficient work experience. Thus, it is likely the job placements or opportunities that you will receive after going through SGUnited Skills programme are entry-level positions.
If you are willing to make a fresh start in a new industry, the SGUnited Skills Programme is a step in the right direction.
DollarsAndSense.sg aims to provide interesting, bite-sized and relevant financial articles.
Learn together with like-minded Singaporeans at the Personal Finance Discussion SG Facebook Group by discussing a range of personal finance topics.
If you have not done so, subscribe to our free e-newsletter to receive exclusive content not available anywhere else.