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Budget 2020: New SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit to defray 90% of training, job redesign costs

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The enterprise credit amounts to S$10,000 per enterprise. It will benefit more than 35,000 enterprises, most of which will be SMEs.

TO encourage Singapore employers to embark on the transformation of their workforce and enterprise, the government will introduce a new SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit.

Employers can use this enterprise credit to defray up to 90 per cent of their out-of-pocket costs for business transformation, job redesign and skills training, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat said in his Budget speech on Tuesday.

The enterprise credit amounts to S$10,000 per enterprise. It will benefit more than 35,000 enterprises, most of which will be small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Mr Heng said.

He also announced several measures pertaining to SkillsFuture.

For one, the government will expand the existing Productivity Solutions Grant to include job redesign consultancy services, providing support for job redesign. The grant helps enterprises adopt pre-approved digital solutions and equipment.

Moreover, the government will work with large anchor enterprises to support training for their sectors and value-chain partners. Anchor enterprises are supported by many SMEs, which means the entire supply chain benefits if the SME workers’ skills are raised, Mr Heng said.

“We aim to partner up to 40 of such anchor enterprises to benefit 4,000 SMEs over the next five years,” he added.

By 2025, the government will also more than double the capacity of SkillsFuture Work-Study Programmes, Mr Heng said. These programmes enable local students at institutes of higher learning (IHLs) to learn in a real work setting.

The government aims to make the Work-Study Programmes a “mainstream pathway”, with 12 per cent of each cohort going through these pathways, up from 3.5 per cent today, Mr Heng said.

As more enterprises train their workers, the government will deepen its workplace learning capabilities. The Ministry of Education will expand its National Centre of Excellence for Workplace Learning, currently based at Nanyang Polytechnic, to two more IHLs over the next few years, Mr Heng said. The measure aims to benefit more than 1,200 enterprises, especially SMEs.

Additionally, the government will recalibrate its funding towards training providers and courses with a stronger link to job and wage outcomes, Mr Heng said.

For more Budget 2020 stories, visit bt.sg/budget20.