Singapore Launches SkillsFuture & Workfare Revamp



The SkillsFuture program and the Workfare Income Supplement program have undergone significant modifications because to the efforts of Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Lawrence Wong. Strengthening the workforce and achieving income parity across the nation are the objectives of these adjustments.

Singapore’s Budget 2024 identified the new SkillsFuture Level-Up Program as the main plan. Workers who are in the midst of their careers are the target audience for this program.

Participants in this program who are at least 40 years old will receive an additional S$4,000 (US$2,971) added to their SkillsFuture credit in May. When they turn forty, anyone under 40 will receive the same amount.

We allocate this additional money for specific training programs, such as undergraduate courses, post-diploma programs, full-time and part-time diploma programs, and training for businesses that implement the Progressive Wage Model.

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Starting with the 2025 school year, the government will also help people aged 40 and up get full-time diplomas at polytechnics, Institutes of Technical Education, and art schools by giving them funding.

 This action highlights Singapore’s dedication to upskilling and lifelong learning by offering opportunities for job advancement even after initial school graduation.

Additionally, Singaporeans 40 years of age and older who enroll in certain full-time courses will get monthly training allowances to help with the financial burden of training. The allowances amount to S$3,000 (US$2,228) each month and are usable for up to 24 months in the individual’s lifetime. They represent 50% of the individual’s average salary over the previous 12 months.

Redesigned SkillsFuture arrives at a critical time when Singapore is dealing with increasing technology upheavals and shifting labor market conditions. Wong emphasized the significance of keeping up with the quick pace of technology advancements, emphasizing the need for staff members to update their knowledge and effectively use new tools.

Moreover, improvements to the Workfare Income Supplement program were announced in order to alleviate economic inequality. From January 2025 onwards, low-wage workers making S$3,000 (US$2,228) or less per month will be eligible for the program; previously, the qualifying salary was S$2,500 (US$1,856). The improvements include greater payouts and broader coverage, which will help almost 500,000 Singaporeans.

Furthermore, policies were implemented to encourage businesses to give local employment a higher priority and to increase pay. Employers that hire foreign workers will have to change minimum hourly rates and the local qualifying income to compensate locals for their increased wages in order to keep up with wage increases. According to CNA, the government would support organizations that are increasing the wages of low-income workers more, offering up to 50% co-funding of wage increases for 2024 and lowering the salary threshold for qualifying for co-funding in subsequent years.

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