Starting next Monday (July 1), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Singapore will get more financial support in training their employees.
The Government has rolled out a new Productivity Solutions Grant (or SkillsFuture Training Subsidy), which was first announced at this year’s Budget debate.
Under this grant, each firm gets awarded up to $10,000 to cover 70% of out-of-pocket training expenses.
Along with the existing SkillsFuture course fee subsidies of up to 90%, this means that the cost of sending an employee for a $2,000 training course now cost only $60.
SMEs Not Investing Enough In Employee Training
At the launch of the SkillsFuture Festival today, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Education Mr Chee Hong Tat said that “enterprise transformation and skill training go hand-in-hand.”
According to National Wages Council, SMEs are investing less in training compared to larger companies.
This is a huge concern, considering that SMEs employ about 70% of Singapore’s workforce, noted Mr Chee.
“For our broad middle-tier of SMEs to upgrade their capabilities and enhance their competitiveness, we have to do better when it comes to worker training. Otherwise, the skills gap could become a bottleneck that limits economic competitiveness,” he added.
With this grant, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) believes that it will help companies, especially SMEs, to upskill their workforce and ultimately improve business processes and productivity.
To benefit from this grant, firms would need to submit their training plans for evaluation and approval by SSG.
SSG is currently working with intermediaries — such as trade associations, banks, IT companies and accounting firms — to develop training programmes for SMEs.
These intermediaries can help tailor programmes for SMEs according to their business requirements, and ultimately help SMEs select suitable courses for their workers.
Featured Image Credit: SSI