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Ultimate Guide to SkillsFuture Singapore_ SkillsFuture Credit Top-Ups, Benefits & More

Ultimate Guide to SkillsFuture Singapore: SkillsFuture Credit Top-Ups, Benefits & More

profileRebecca Liew

At the risk of sounding like a nerd, learning new skills is one of my favourite things.

Source: GIPHY

There are just so many new skills or hobbies that I’ve always wanted to pick up but haven’t because, *ahem*, I have no money.

But in this day and age where information is ubiquitous, surely there’s a way, right?

That said, conventionally, attending a course to learn things properly is still many people’s go-to.

And for those full-on into upskilling through a course, we have SkillsFuture.

Don’t get me wrong, you can’t master a skill within a few days, but it can set the foundation right for a smoother transition if you’re switching industries or simply looking to learn some soft skills.


TL;DR: Ultimate Guide to SkillsFuture Singapore, SkillsFuture Credits, Courses & More

This is a summary of all SkillsFuture-related support and credits:

Who It's ForWhatPurpose/Benefits
IndividualsMid-Career Support Package SkillsFuture Credits top-upAdditional $500, one-off

For Singaporeans aged 25 and up; valid from Oct 2020 to Dec 2025
Additional $500, one-off

For Singaporeans aged 40 to 60; applicable on selected re-skilling programmes, this is on top of the $500 above; valid from Oct 2020 to Dec 2025
[NEW] SkillsFuture Level Up Programme SkillsFuture Credits top-up Additional $4,000 by May 2024

For Singaporeans aged 40 and above; applicable on selected reskilling programmes
[NEW] Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCSE)The MCSE currently covers up to 90% of course fees for courses funded by SkillsFuture Singapore and the Ministry of Education. It will be extended to those who pursue another full-time diploma at local polytechnics, ITE, or arts institutions
[NEW] SkillsFuture Mid-Career Training AllowanceReceive a training allowance based on 50% of your average income over the latest available 12-month period, capped at $3,000/month for up to 24 months over an individual’s lifetime when you enrol full-time courses
Work-Study ProgrammesSign-on incentive of $5,000 for most programmes & attain an industry-recognised Post-Diploma qualification or professional certification

For fresh graduates who are within three years of (i) graduation from the Polytechnics or the (ii) Operationally Ready Date for full-time National Servicemen
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits$10,000

For enterprise and workforce transformation. Eligible employers can use this amount to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses
Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)For local SMEs looking for IT solutions and equipment. Funds individual projects intended to improve productivity, limited to a pre-approved list of vendors, up to 50% of eligible costs.

Receive up to $30,000 and improve your business productivity
National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) NACE helps local enterprises develop their staff for growth in today’s manpower-lean environment. Local companies can also participate in NACE’s immersion programmes and learning journeys to gain insights and look at good practices on workplace implementation from best-in-class companies locally and overseas

Click here to jump:


What Is SkillsFuture Singapore?

SkillsFuture is an initiative that allows Singaporeans and PRs to acquire new skills or upgrade existing ones, whether you’re making the brave transition between industries or simply picking up a hobby.

These can be supplemented by courses, some of which may be offset using SkillsFuture Credits. There are also career guidance sessions for everyone, from students to those in their silver years.

Who Can Benefit from SkillsFuture?

We don’t do sponsored posts, so this plug is entirely voluntary: SkillsFuture is designed to benefit Singaporeans at all stages of their lives.

That includes:

SkillsFuture is particularly helpful to the mid-career switchers and those working in the Progressive Wage Model Sectors (PWMS) such as cleaning, retail and security, as upskilling brings about more change in your work area and a chance to increase your salary.

SkillsFuture Credits And Top-Ups

We mentioned SkillsFuture Credits earlier — and it works like cash, except you ironically can’t cash out on it.

If you’re a Singaporean aged 25 or older, you’ll be given $500 in opening credits for use on courses in the extensive SkillsFuture Credit Course Directory.

How Much SkillsFuture Credit Do I Have?

All Singaporeans aged 25 years and above will receive an opening credit of $500.

In Budget 2020, there was a one-off SkillsFuture credit top-up of up to $500 to every Singapore Citizen aged 25 years and above as of 31 December 2020, and an additional $500 credit was provided to every Singapore Citizen aged 40 and 60. Both sets of credits are valid from Oct 2020 to Dec 2025.

The catch? This excess of $500 can only be used on selected reskilling programmes and expire in Dec 2025, but your base credits of $500 won’t.

Here’s a summary of SkillsFuture Credit top-ups and related programmes:

Who It's ForWhatPurpose/Benefits
IndividualsMid-Career Support Package SkillsFuture Credits top-upAdditional $500, one-off

For Singaporeans aged 25 and up; valid from Oct 2020 to Dec 2025
Additional $500, one-off

For Singaporeans aged 40 to 60; applicable on selected re-skilling programmes, this is on top of the $500 above; valid from Oct 2020 to Dec 2025
[NEW] SkillsFuture Level Up Programme SkillsFuture Credits top-up Additional $4,000 by May 2024

For Singaporeans aged 40 and above; applicable on selected reskilling programmes
[NEW] Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCSE)The MCSE currently covers up to 90% of course fees for courses funded by SkillsFuture Singapore and the Ministry of Education. It will be extended to those who pursue another full-time diploma at local polytechnics, ITE, or arts institutions
[NEW] SkillsFuture Mid-Career Training AllowanceReceive a training allowance based on 50% of your average income over the latest available 12-month period, capped at $3,000/month for up to 24 months over an individual’s lifetime when you enrol full-time courses
Work-Study ProgrammesSign-on incentive of $5,000 for most programmes & attain an industry-recognised Post-Diploma qualification or professional certification

For fresh graduates who are within three years of (i) graduation from the Polytechnics or the (ii) Operationally Ready Date for full-time National Servicemen
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)SkillsFuture Enterprise Credits$10,000

For enterprise and workforce transformation. Eligible employers can use this amount to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses
Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG)For local SMEs looking for IT solutions and equipment. Funds individual projects intended to improve productivity, limited to a pre-approved list of vendors, up to 50% of eligible costs.

Receive up to $30,000 and improve your business productivity
National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning (NACE) NACE helps local enterprises develop their staff for growth in today’s manpower-lean environment. Local companies can also participate in NACE’s immersion programmes and learning journeys to gain insights and look at good practices on workplace implementation from best-in-class companies locally and overseas

SkillsFuture Level Up Programme

Then, in Budget 2024, it’s announced that there will be a $4,000 SkillsFuture top-up for those 40 and above to push mid-career workers to upskill. This brings up the total credits to $5,500 who are 40 and above!

This is introduced as the SkillsFuture Level-Up Programme.

This credit will be given out in May this year and can be used to enrol in selected training courses to enhance employability.

Similarly, as part of the programme, folks aged 40 and above in Singapore will get an enhanced subsidy under the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCSE), which covers up to 90% of course fees for courses funded by SkillsFuture Singapore. But from Academic 2025 onwards, the MCSE will be extended to those who pursue another full-time diploma at local polytechnics, ITE, or arts institutions.

You can rest assured that the selected courses should be the most in-demand skills determined by the government. More details about the eligible courses will also be released later.

SkillsFuture Mid-Career Training Allowance

Plus, if you enrol in certain full-time courses, you can receive a training allowance based on 50% of your average income over the latest available 12-month period, capped at $3,000 per month for up to 24 months over an individual’s lifetime.

What about those who are below 40 years old?

You will receive your $4,000 top-up when you hit 40!

Source: giphy

In the meantime, try these practical tips if you feel like you’re pursuing the wrong degree or job.

How to Submit SkillsFuture Credit Claims

You’ll be asked to log in to the official SkillsFuture portal to redeem your credits while signing up for your course. For this, you’ll need proof of payment from your provider, whether an official invoice or receipt.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Login to your SkillsFuture Account (via Submit a Claim button)
  2. Fill out your profile if you haven’t
  3. Select the course you’ve enrolled in
  4. Indicate how much of your SkillsFuture credits you wish to use
  5. Upload your supporting documents
  6. Submit your claim

The credits will be deducted immediately; you can then foot the balance, if any.

So if your Data Analytics course is $1,000 — and you’ve $600 in credits — you’ll only be charged $400.

What SkillsFuture Programmes Are There?

It can be overwhelming navigating the SkillsFuture site, but this table will have you sorted.

If You're Looking For...Recommended ProgrammeIdeal For
An internshipEnhanced InternshipsPoly and ITE undergrads
Industry attachmentsWork-Study Post-Grad Programmes (WSP) Post-grads
Industry-relevant courses spanning finance, data analytics and techSkillsFuture SeriesAll Singaporeans
Education, training and career guidance MySkillsFutureAll Singaporeans and PRs
On-the-job trainingSkillsFuture Earn and LearnPoly and ITE fresh grads
A way to acquire Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skillsTechSkills Accelerator (TeSA)ICT and non-ICT professionals
(both fresh- and mid-career)
Overseas work experienceYoung Talent Programme (YTP)Poly and uni students (Singaporeans and PRs)
A skills-focused bootcamp leading to job placementWork-Learn Bootcamp Fresh grads and mid-career Singaporeans
On-the-job training with partner companiesWork-Study DegreeStudents of NUS, NTU, SIT and SUSS
(select courses only)
A way to advance your skillset in your field SkillsFuture Study Awards
($5,000 monetary award)
Early- to mid-career Singaporeans
Education and career guidanceEducation and Career Guidance (ECG)All Singaporeans
An overview of career resources and opportunitiesSkillsFuture AdviceAll Singaporeans and PRs
A career with Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)P-MaxJob-seeking PMETs (Singaporeans and PRs)
Mentorship for your employees SkillsFuture SME MentorsSMEs
Info on emerging skills, programmes and career pathwaysSkills FrameworkEmployers
A tech-skills upgradeSkillsFuture for Digital WorkplaceSingaporeans (individuals and employers)
Full WSQ qualificationsSkillsFuture Qualification AwardSingaporean workers
A mid-career skills boostSkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy
(up to 90% subsidised course fees)
Singaporeans over 40
Skills relating to training delivery and curriculum development iN.LEARN 2020All CET partners and practitioners

If you’re a student, for instance, you might want to look into these programmes:

  • The Young Talent Programme (YTP)
  • SkillsFuture Earn and Learn
  • Work-Learn Bootcamp
  • Work-Study Degree

Conversely, if you’re 50 years old and up, you’ll enjoy course subsidies of up to 90% at major institutions under programmes such as the National Silver Academy.


What Are Some In-Demand Skills?

Well, SkillsFuture Singapore will not offer any random courses without fully backed data. In fact, it has a Skills Demand for the Future Economy 2023/24 report, which highlights key insights into skills required by the Singapore economy over time.

It’s clear that there will be three main pillars – Green Economy, Digital Economy and Care Economy. Here’s a breakdown of the skills that are considered ‘Priority Skills’:

Green Economy Digital Economy Care Economy
Urban Farming Business Development and Management Workflow Digitalisation Learning Mode Design
Carbon Markets and Decarbonisation Strategies Marketing Campaign Management HR Practice Implementation
Sustainability Risk Management Artificial Intelligence Application Community Partnership
Environmental and Social Governance E-commerce Management Professional Consultation
Carbon Footprint Management Network Configuration Staff Training Facilitation
Sustainable Manufacturing IT Asset Management Pharmacy IT Management
Sustainability Reporting Programming and Coding Change Management
Solar Photovoltaic System Designs Big Data Analytics Staff Continuous Learning
Sustainable Landscape Design
Energy Management and Audit
Sustainable Engineering
Sustainability Management

Note: This list is non-exhaustive.


How to Find Courses on SkillsFuture?

Before jumping the gun and signing up for the first thing you see, consider what you actually want.

Are you looking to venture into a side hustle or learn a skill that might help your career transition? 

Source: knowyourmeme

From there, narrow your options in the SkillsFuture Credit Course Directory, which allows for searches by categories such as Area of Training and Training Providers.

Then check if you meet the course’s prerequisites — and whether you could commit to the length of it. You don’t want to waste credits because some programmes require minimum attendance. 

If you’re employed, you might also want to check if your company offers extra subsidies for certain courses pertinent to your field.

How To Choose The Right Course (And School) on SkillsFuture

It can be hard to discern accredited training providers from dodgy ones. For that very reason, I’d much rather go for a course in a relatively well-established institution than a private school.

To their credit, SkillsFuture Singapore and Workforce Singapore have been thorough in weeding out shady training providers, but it’s always best to do your research.

Source: Tenor

Once you’ve narrowed your options, simply follow the steps to be redirected to the training provider’s page — and redeem your credits using the aforementioned steps. 

Should I Only Go For A Crash Course?

A one-day crash course may seem great — minimal commitment! No need for weekly night classes! — but the reality is that you’ll likely struggle to retain this knowledge.

Source: Tenor

Unless you’ve a basic foundation in your elected course, it’s down to you to commit to practising whatever’s been taught regularly, even after your course has concluded.

As mentioned, you’ll want to research before spending those SkillsFuture credits on something that might not serve you in the long run.

I don’t know about you, but these credits are hard to come by for free, and my inner aunty expects monetary returns for all the hours I’ve spent toiling on something.

But if you’re simply here to try your hand at something new (or just exploring options for a potential side hustle like opening a cafe), these are an excellent starting point:

  • Communication skills-related courses
  • Cooking or baking classes
  • Floral arrangement classes
  • Language courses
  • Painting or drawing

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About Rebecca Liew
Lactose-intolerant, but also BS-intolerant. Having written for the likes of Marina Bay Sands and Time Out, I now spend my days saving up for my stationery shop retirement dream.
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