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4 things to know about changes to adult education in S'pore

At the budget debate on Monday (March 7), Education Minister Chan Chun Sing announced more support and investment to encourage Singaporeans to keep learning throughout their careers.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) plans to enhance opportunities to reskill and upskill through various schemes:

1. New SkillsFuture Career Transition Programme for mid-career workers

From April, Singaporeans looking to switch careers can take industry-oriented, modular training courses lasting from three to 12 months.

The train-and-place programme will provide industry-relevant training involving potential employers, and facilitate employment in sectors with good hiring opportunities.

Coursefees under the programme will be heavily subsidised at up to 90 per cent.

Additional course fee funding of up to 95 per cent will be available to job seekers with greater needs.

The permanent programme replaces the SGUnited Skills and SGUnited Mid-Career Pathways Company Training programmes launched in 2020 to help Singaporeans affected by the economic impact of Covid-19.

2. More subsidised SkillsFuture courses for Singaporeans aged 40 to 60

From June 1, MOE will expand the course coverage of the Additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support) to around 7,000 courses, up from about 300 courses.

In 2020, this special SkillsFuture Credit of $500 was given to every Singaporean aged 40 to 60 to pay for selected reskilling programmes that deliver good employment outcomes. The credit will expire by end 2025.

The expanded list of courses comes in response to feedback from individuals who may not intend to switch careers but would like to use their credit for upskilling, said Minister of State for Education Gan Siow Huang on Monday.

3. Expansion of degree places for adult learners

MOE is studying how to provide more opportunities for working adults to pursue a degree at any point in their life and support key growth areas in the economy.

The ministry will look at how to increase the mix between places for pre-employment training and continuing education, and training (CET) degree programmes.

Institutes of Higher Learning will also review their CET offerings to improve quality and accessibility.

4. Stronger structural support to reskill older Singaporeans

Along with three other ministries, MOE is studying how to enhance structural support for Singaporeans in their 40s and 50s who may need significant reskilling to get "a second wind to their careers", said Education Minister Chan Chun Sing on Monday.

He told Parliament that mid-career workers, especially those in their 40s and 50s, are more vulnerable to retrenchment and long-term unemployment, and need greater support to pivot to new job roles.

The other ministries involved in the study are the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Manpower and Ministry of Finance.

SKILLSFUTURECommittee of Supply 2022EducationBUDGET 2022SINGAPORE PARLIAMENT