The Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has announced that Singaporeans aged 25 years and above will receive an initial credit of $500 in their SkillsFuture Credit account.

Through January 2016, eligible Singaporeans will receive their account activation letter and will be able to access their account to use their credit for courses that commence on or after 1 January 2016.

According to a press release by WDA, the credit can be used for about 10,000 approved skills-related courses across 57 functional areas covering all key industries.

As the credit will not expire and periodic top-ups will be made by the government, Singaporeans need not rush to use their SkillsFuture Credit.

The credit can be used on courses in these four categories – courses subsidised or approved by the WDA, selected courses offered by the Ministry of Education (MOE)-funded institutions, courses supported by public agencies and SkillsFuture@PA courses offered by the People’s Association and courses offered by the Infocomm Development Authority’s participating Silver Infocomm Junctions.

A preview of some of the courses that will be available can be viewed here.

Ng Cher Pong, chief executive of WDA said, “Lifelong learning is essential for skills deepening and mastery, and the SkillsFuture Credit supports Singaporeans on their lifelong learning journeys.

“WDA will continue to work closely with both training providers and government agencies to expand the list of of quality approved courses which Singaporeans can use their SkillsFuture Credit on.”

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On the same day, the Lifelong Learning Council (LLC), with the support of WDA, unveiled key initiatives supporting the SkillsFuture movement to foster a culture that supports and celebrates lifelong learning amongst Singaporeans.

In a separate press release, it was announced that the first initiative will be a $3 million LearnSG Seed Fund to grow community-led learning initiatives.

The fund will be available to groups of individuals, organisations and community groups to propose learning activities for funding and selected projects may be adopted and scaled up.

Applications for the fund will be open from January 2016 onwards.

Tan Kay Yong, chairman of the LLC said, “The Lifelong Learning Council’s vision is to build a nation that embraces lifelong learning as a habit so that individuals can lead purposeful and productive lives.  We recognise that this requires close partnership with community groups, the private sector and individuals.

“Therefore, we adopted an inclusive approach in listening to individuals from various segments to develop our lifelong learning initiatives so as to support the SkillsFuture thrust of fostering a culture that supports lifelong learning.”

The second initiative is to foster a supportive environment for learning through the Lifelong Learning Festival, which was launched to raise awareness, galvanise community partnerships and kick-start specific learning initiatives.

The festival contains engaging activities which are experiential informative, and included  both work and life skills-related activities for all age groups.

At the festival, three new learning initiatives – Tinkerama, Learning-on-the-Go gateway and the Pledge-to-Learn – were rolled out.

“Lifelong learning is intensely rewarding and fulfilling. It increases our confidence, keeps our minds alert and helps us stay in touch with what is going on in the world. Today, we are building a new culture – one that celebrates and values learning for the joy and sense of fulfilment that it brings, one where learning is an intrinsic part of daily life, and deeply entrenched in the social fabric,” said guest of honour, Ong Ye Kung, acting minister for education (higher education and skills) at the event.

Image: Shutterstock

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