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More than 8 in 10 found SkillsFuture-funded courses helpful: Survey

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Survey shows 80 per cent who attended such courses found them useful at work

More than eight in 10 Singaporeans who attended SkillsFuture-funded courses last year found that their training helped them in their work, according to a survey by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG).

Trainees were asked about the quality of the course on the last day of training and were surveyed again six months later on how useful they felt it had been in their work.

About 3,500 people were polled, said SSG chief executive Ng Cher Pong yesterday at a review of the statutory board's work last year.

The survey was a new initiative last year. SSG had planned to assess training, although it is not a simple task, Mr Ng said.

He added: "Outcomes are not easy to measure because the relationship between training and enhanced career opportunities or wage increases is difficult to measure as there are many other attributes that may affect it."

The survey will be rolled out for all SSG-funded courses on the Training Exchange section of the MySkillsFuture portal by the middle of this year.

SSG is also working on a longer-term study with the Ministry of Trade and Industry on the effectiveness of the Workforce Skills Qualifications programmes, said Mr Ng.

This year, it plans to enhance its MySkillsFuture portal, which provides information on careers and the required skills. For instance, users will be able to create an e-passport listing their e-certificates from training.

SSG will also expand its work-learn programmes and scale up the SkillsFuture Series - short training programmes in emerging areas such as analytics and cyber security.

Mr Ng said more people are making use of government subsidies for training. About 146,000 Singaporeans started using their SkillsFuture Credit last year, bringing the total number who have tapped the subsidy to about 431,000 since the scheme's launch in January 2016.

The $500 credit is given to all Singaporeans aged 25 and older.

About 465,000 people and 12,000 enterprises took up various SkillsFuture subsidies last year. They used schemes such as SkillsFuture Study Awards for workers to deepen their capabilities in key sectors, and SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy, which pays up to 90 per cent of course fees for SSG-funded courses.

Since 2017, over 52,000 people have attended SkillsFuture Advice workshops on how to plan for their careers and upgrade their skills.

Take Ms Aryani Suhardi, 38, who became a chatbot trainer at insurer Prudential Singapore in 2017 after more than a decade in customer service.

She said: "The workshop introduced me to the variety of SkillsFuture resources I could use for my self-development."