SkillsFuture Singapore released an update on 8th December, with statistics on the uptake of the SkillsFuture Credit, introduced in January 2016. SkillsFuture is a statutory body under the Ministry of Education which aims to facilitate continuous education and training, upgrading skills to keep up with the fast pace of technological advancements and increasing competition.
All Singaporeans aged 25 and above received an opening credit of S$500 from January 2016. The credit does not expire and the government provides periodic top-ups. The credit can be used to pay for a range of approved skills-related courses on top of existing government course subsidies. The number of approved courses increased from 10,000 in January to over 18,000 courses by December, from 700 public and private providers.
Massive Open Online Course (MOOCs) providers, Udemy and Coursera, were the top 2 in terms of the number of courses on offer. MOOCs accounted for 12% of courses and 6% of credits used.
Courses from INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, Udacity and edX (founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University) will become eligible for SkillsFuture credits during the next few months.
At the end of the first year, by December 2016, over 126,000 Singaporeans had used the SkillsFuture Credit, with 34% of them using the credits more than once.
The utilisation of the credit was nearly evenly distributed across the different age groups, as can be seen from the chart below:
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) was the most popular area of training, in all age groups, reflecting the transformative impact of ICT in all areas.. The press release mentioned that younger Singaporeans were interested in emerging ICT areas such as data analytics, while older Singaporeans used the credit to acquire fundamental ICT skills such as familiarising themselves with the basic functions of a computer. Other popular areas of training included Language Skills, Productivity and Innovation and Security and Investigation, in supervisory to non-supervisory skills.
Read the press release here.