Blog Article

A Complete Guide to Government Grants for IT courses in Singapore

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Singapore’s reputation as a leader in information and communications technology (ICT) with a world-class professional workforce wasn’t created out of thin air. Over the years, the government has continued to invest heavily in numerous programmes to subsidise training that prioritises in-demand skills and professional development. This investment aims to help workers stay employable, remain ahead of the curve in an ever-changing industry and uphold Singapore as a global leader in ICT.

The funding benefits workers looking for their own avenues of development to gain employment or further their career, whether they are graduates trying to get their foot in the door, seasoned practitioners needing to update their skillset or professionals thinking of a career change. For businesses, these subsidies further incentivise managers to provide staff with regular training that helps them adapt to new trends and technologies, improve their contribution to the business and increase job satisfaction through ongoing personal growth.

These programmes present a wealth of opportunity in Singapore, with grants and funding schemes available for citizens, permanent residents and even foreign workers. Those eligible may be able to claim for a single course under multiple schemes and get as much as 100% of their fees covered. Given financial barriers often prevent individuals and businesses from undergoing professional development, applying for funding is a fantastic way to make industry training accessible in the short and long term.

COMAT proudly offers a wide range of eligible courses across Professional, Manager and Executive level (PME) and non-PME levels, covering a broad scope of in-demand skills, competencies and brand-based learning for the ICT industry, including:

Find out more about these funding opportunities below, browse the eligible classroom learning IT courses offered through COMAT and discover how you can future-proof your career.

Please note that funding categories - whether company or self-sponsored, differ across organisational type and age of applicant. Access the respective links below for more information.

1. Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme PLUS (CITREP+)

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) created CITREP+ under the TechSkills Accelerator initiative to grow and nurture a strong core of ICT professionals. The programme aims to build a workforce that is agile enough to shift with new technology and master relevant skills as the field evolves. This is achieved by funding proactive training and development for graduates, entry-level professionals and industry veterans.

CITREP+ largely focuses on courses that provide broad technical training on skills that are vital to the changing information and communications landscape. From cloud computing to data analytics, CITREP+ funded training gives ICT professionals the tools they need to stay ahead of the curve with knowledge that is relevant for the world of tomorrow.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • Companies that want to upskill staff:
    • Employed citizens and permanent residents including:
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners aged 40 and above

  • Individuals who are interested in self-training:
    • Employed citizens and permanent residents including:
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners above 40 years of age
      • Students aged 17 to 25 who are studying full-time post-secondary academic studies [enrolled in NITEC, Higher NITEC, Diploma, and up to First Degree awarded through Post-Secondary Educational Institutes (PSEIs)]
      • Full-time National Servicemen after 6 months from ORD

Why you should claim:

  • Up to 90% of course fees covered for companies and self-sponsoring professionals
  • Up to 100% of course fees covered for students and National Servicemen
  • Applies to courses focused on current, industry-relevant skills and knowledge areas that future-proof professionals, making it ideal for anyone from managers looking to upskill staff to budding practitioners applying for new roles.

How to apply:

Applications for CITREP+ funding can be made online using the IMDA’s Infocomm Competency Management System. Companies require a valid ICMS account and a CorpPass ID, while self-sponsoring individuals will need a valid ICMS account and a SingPass ID and password. Visit the IMDA website for more information on eligibility and the application process.

Applicable COMAT courses:

CITREP+ is available for selected courses in the following categories:

2. Enhanced Training Support for SMEs

Any company can reap huge benefits from upskilling its staff with regular training, but small to medium enterprises (SMEs) do not always have the resources available to provide their workforce with these opportunities. Enhanced Training Support for SMEs is a programme by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) that provides grants to encourage small to medium businesses to continue developing staff with industry-level training. The programme applies to a range of courses covering various disciplines within the ICT industry including data science, computing and cybersecurity. Funding for this scheme is part of the Skills Development Fund (SDF) and is also applicable for courses under the National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF) (see below).

Training grant is perfect for:

  • SMEs that want to future-proof staff with relevant training:
    • Employed citizens and permanent residents including:
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners

Why you should claim:

  • Cover up to 90% of fees for SkillsFuture courses and recover absentee payroll at 80% of basic hourly salary (capped at $7.50 per hour, increased from previous $4.50 cap)
  • Continue developing your workforce without an unmanageable impact on cash flow
  • Comfortably take advantage of training opportunities for employees whenever they are available

How to apply:

Online applications are open to SMEs that meet the following:

  1. Registered or incorporated in Singapore
  2. At least 30% owned by citizens or permanent residents
  3. Employed workforce of fewer than 200 employees or achieve less than $100 million group annual sales turnover

Claims can be made for staff who are citizens or permanent residents (excluding full-time National Servicemen) only for courses which have been entirely paid for by the business. Visit SSG online for information on eligibility, applications and more.

Applicable COMAT courses:

The Enhanced Training Support for SMEs is available for selected courses in the following categories:

3. National Infocomm Competency Framework (NICF)

NICF is a joint effort by SSG, IMDA and various stakeholders in the ICT industry. It acts as a national framework for training providers offering courses in data analytics, network and infrastructure, cybersecurity and software development. COMAT is one of a small group of appointed Certified Education and Training (CET) providers approved to offer courses within this framework, with companies and individuals benefiting from partial funding equalling up to 90% of course fees. NICF aims to not only create quality training standards for ICT courses in Singapore, but also help businesses identify important industry skills that should be considered when hiring new staff, training workers and creating jobs. This makes NICF-funded courses a smart choice for professionals looking to build in-demand skills and improve their career potential.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • Companies who want to provide staff with PME-level certifications for continual growth:
    • Employed citizens and permanent residents
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners 40 years and above

  • Individuals seeking self-training in PME-level certifications:
    • Citizens and permanent residents 21 years old and above
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners 40 years and above

Why you should claim:

  • Get 50% to 90% of course fees funded by the programme
  • Companies can upskill workforce and expand human resource capabilities
  • Individuals can leverage NICF courses for reskilling opportunities and switch careers
  • Unemployed mid-career ICT professionals can find better job opportunities by upskilling

How to apply:

Application for NICF funding, please visit the SkillsConnect Portal or reach out to us for more information.

Applicable COMAT courses:

NICF funding is available for applicable courses listed on our website.

4. Skills Development Fund (SDF)

The SDF is another SkillsFuture initiative which provides funding for individuals and rank and file employees to undertake Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ). A levy charged to companies in Singapore contributes to the SDF, which re-invests back into the economy by subsidising training across a range of disciplines. This is similar to NICF funding, which provides funding for PME-level courses instead.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • Companies seeking to continuously upskill their rank and file workforce:
    • Employed citizens and permanent residents
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners 40 years and above

  • Individuals seeking self-training:
    • Citizens and permanent residents aged 21 years and above
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Mid-career practitioners 40 years and above

Why you should claim:

  • Self-sponsoring individuals and companies can enjoy 80% to 90% of course funding
  • Companies can claim a provision to fund absentee payroll
  • Individuals can enjoy funded SkillsFuture courses on top of SkillsFuture Credits and enhance their employability in the ICT industry

How to apply:

SDF funding can be claimed via the SkillsConnect Portal by logging in with a valid Singpass ID. Read more about eligibility requirements for individuals and company employees on the SkillsConnect website, including how factors such as age, salary, qualifications, experience and company type may affect the funding provided for a given worker’s training.

Applicable COMAT courses:

SDF funding is available for selected courses in the following categories:

5. SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy

Keeping experienced professionals up to date with industry trends and changing technology is crucial for a thriving economy, and the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy is catered to just that. The programme encourages lifelong learning by subsidising industry-level training for mid-career individuals who need to upskill or reskill to remain proficient in their role. Suitable for a wide range of ICT professionals, funding applies to PME and non-PME level ICT-related SkillsFuture courses offered by appointed CETs, and certifiable-skills training courses supported by SkillsFuture. Funding under this scheme is part of the Skills Development Fund, and is also applicable for NICF courses.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • Companies seeking to upskill mid-career staff:
    • Employed citizens aged 40 years and above
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Experienced practitioners

  • Individuals seeking to upskill mid-career or aiming for a career switch
    • Any citizen aged 40 years and above
      • Graduates
      • Entry-level professionals
      • Experienced practitioners

Why you should claim:

  • Companies and individuals can have up to 90% of their course fees funded by the programme, ensuring continued professional development without a large investment

How to apply:

For any SSG-supported courses eligible for the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy, the individual can register directly with the training provider (or a CET Centre) and will only need to pay the remainder of the fee after the subsidy is applied. The process is similar for Ministry of Education (MOE) programmes, except that the individual is not required to apply and will automatically be given the grant if eligible. Check out the Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy on the SkillsFuture website to learn more about this course funding scheme.

Applicable COMAT courses:

The SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy is available for WSQ and SSG-approved certifiable courses in the following categories:

6. Post-Secondary Education Account (PSEA)

PSEA is administered by the MOE to encourage all young people in Singapore to undertake further studies beyond secondary education. An account is automatically opened for anyone who is eligible and provides funds that may be used to offset fees for ICT courses by approved institutions, selected SkillsFuture courses (WSQ and NICF) and programmes at local universities, polytechnics and Institutes of Higher Learning. The account earns interest at 2.5% per annum until the individual turns 30, at which point any remaining funds are transferred to CPF.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • Any employed citizen under 30 years of age looking to upskill
  • Any unemployed citizen and permanent resident wishing to develop in-demand skills and be a competitive job candidate

Why you should claim:

  • Easily offset course fees for PSEA-approved IT courses which provide additional leverage on top of existing subsidies already available to self-sponsoring individuals
  • Help offset charges for siblings’ approved programmes

How to apply:

You can apply to use funds from your PSEA with a one-time application online with MOE. Visit the website for more information on PSEA including who is eligible, how to check your account balance and how to access the application form.

Applicable COMAT courses:

PSEA funding is available for selected courses in the following categories:

7. SkillsFuture Credit

While internal company training is an avenue for employed professionals to develop, the SkillsFuture Credit encourages Singaporean citizens aged 25 and over to take ownership of their skill progression. Citizens receive an opening credit of $500 on their 25th birthday which can be put towards a range of eligible courses offered by SkillsFuture and SkillsFuture@PA; universities, polytechnics and other MOE-funded institutes of higher learning; public agencies; IMDA’s Silver Infocomm Junctions; and the National Silver Academy. These credits do not expire, and each individual account is periodically topped up by the government to encourage ongoing learning and development. Credits can be used in conjunction with other government subsidies, leading to further savings on ICT training.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • All citizens aged 25 and over including:
    • Students
    • Graduates
    • Entry-level professionals
    • Mid-career practitioners

Why you should claim:

  • Use SkillsFuture Credits on top of existing government subsidies to pay for courses
  • Citizens aged 25 and above can enjoy additional one-time $500 top-up that will expire on 31 December 2025 [effective from 1 October 2020]
  • Citizens aged 40 to 60 can enjoy additional one-time $500 top-up which will expire on 31 December 2025 [effective from 1 October 2020]

How to apply:

Citizens aged 25 and above can claim SkillsFuture Credits online using an application form - you will need a SingPass login to access the form. Visit the website for information on the top-ups provided at each age threshold, FAQs, examples and more.

Applicable COMAT courses:

SkillsFuture Credits are applicable for selected courses in the following categories:

View the full list of courses eligible for SkillsFuture Credits here.

8. Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP)

UTAP is another grant programme designed to encourage eligible Singaporeans to undergo regular skills development with up-to-date industry training. The benefit is available to National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Union Members who are over 16 years of age, and can be used on top of government subsidies where applicable. This means individuals can save up to $250 per year on supported courses, with the cap temporarily expanded to $500 for members aged 40 and above. A significant advantage of UTAP is that it is available to citizens, permanent residents and foreigners who fulfil the above criteria, making it an easily accessible source of funding for both locals and foreign temporary workers.

Training grant is perfect for:

  • Citizens, permanent residents and foreigners above 16 years of age who are NTUC Union Members including:
    • Students
    • Graduates
    • Entry-level professionals
    • Mid-career practitioners

Why you should claim:

  • Members up to 40 years of age who apply for UTAP-supported courses on their own enjoy 50% off the balance course fees, after applicable government subsidies, for up to $250 per year
  • For courses attended between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2022, NTUC members aged 40 and above also save up to $500 each year, capped at 50% of course fees after government subsidies

How to apply:

First, you need to register as an NTUC Union Member to access the grant. Once you are a member, you can apply for a UTAP claim through your U Portal account with NTUC within 6 months of the conclusion of your training. Not all courses are eligible for upfront funding, which means you may need to pay the fees yourself before being reimbursed provided you are eligible and your UTAP application has been approved. Read more in the UTAP guide on the NTUC Learning Hub for more information.

Applicable COMAT courses:

UTAP funding is available for selected courses in the following categories:


For more information on our training grants and applicable courses, please reach out to us.

 

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