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NTUC raises funding cap for training support scheme, introduces version for non-unionised firms

THE National Trades Union Congress is raising the funding cap for a training support scheme, and introducing a version of the scheme for non-unionised firms with at least 50 union members, said NTUC deputy secretary-general and Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon during Thursday's debate on the Fortitude Budget.

The NTUC also hopes that the government's National Jobs Council will work with the labour movement's Job Security Council, set up in February, to pre-emptively match at-risk workers into available jobs, said Dr Koh. The NTUC Job Security Council has more than 7,000 companies in its network, and has placed more than 10,000 workers so far. These jobs were mainly in essential services or in sectors supporting efforts to tackle Covid-19, such as healthcare, supermarkets and logistics.

He also urged firms to use this downtime to send workers for training, but noted that training-related costs may deter employers which are facing cash-flow challenges. The NTUC is thus raising the training support funding cap for the existing NTUC-Education and Training Fund (NETF) Collaborative Fund, from S$30,000 previously to S$50,000 per firm.

The fund is for unionised companies which send unionised employees for training. It co-funds half of unfunded course fees - for instance, remaining course fees after a SkillsFuture subsidy has been applied - with a cap of S$250 per union member per year.

A new NETF Collaborative Fund Lite will also be introduced for non-unionised companies with 50 or more NTUC union members, with training support of up to S$8,000 per company.

"I want to encourage more companies, both unionised and non-unionised, to approach NTUC, to set up your CTCs (Company Training Committees) and tap into this additional funding support to send your workers for training," he said.

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