Credit for New Skills

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NTUC is calling for the Government to set up an individual Skillsave Account for every Singaporean worker to allow them to be responsible for their own career training and development needs.

This was announced by Assistant Secretary-General (ASG) Patrick Tay on 26 January 2015 during a visit to NTUC LearningHub.

The Skillsave Account also serves as a follow through on recent upskilling initiatives announced by the Government such as ASPIRE, CET2020 and SkillsFuture.

Being Future-Ready

ASG Tay mooted the idea of setting up an individual training account for Singapore workers to help them be future-ready and to inculcate a spirit of lifelong learning, especially as Singapore undergoes economic restructuring and transformation.

Workers may tap on their Skillsave Accounts to pay for the portions of training costs that are unfunded by their employers, as well as fund Continuing Education and Training programmes. The Skillsave Account will also help address the current gaps for some workers who do not have access to the Workfare Training Support (WTS) scheme.

Currently, the WTS scheme is only available to workers aged 35 and above, and who earn not more than $1,900 a month.

With regards to the value within the account, ASG Tay said that it could be in the form of cash or credit – all coming from the individual, employer and the Government.

He added: “There are various ways to do it. It could be a tripartite thing… It could be an individual coming up with an amount and then there’s a matching grant (from the Government)… Or employers contributing partly. So there is no fixed way.”

Key Principles

According to ASG Tay, as the Skillsave Account is meant for all Singapore workers, be it rank-and-file or Professionals, Managers and Executives, it should be easily accessible.

It should also be portable and seamless whereby the value in the account should remain with the individual, even when the individual switches employers. The Skillsave Account should also be lifelong.

It should not end, let’s say at retirement age, and you can’t use it anymore… Since we are promoting lifelong learning, it (Skillsave Account) should be lifelong,” said ASG Tay.

(Source: NTUC This Week)

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