Your 101 to the SkillsFuture angbao

By February 22, 2020Current, Local Life, People, Work

TL;DR – Time to go back to school with the SkillsFuture credit top-ups. 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have heard about the huge SkillsFuture angbao – the substantial SkillsFuture credits top-up. Back to school, folks!

The SkillsFuture credit top-ups hope to help locals remain relevant and be better placed to seize emerging career opportunities. NTUC Assistant Secretary-General, Mr Patrick Tay, has been lobbying for the top-up as part of the assistance package for employees and freelancers.

In his much-anticipated Budget 2020 speech, DPM Heng announced a top up of $1,000 in SkillsFuture Credits for mid-career workers in their 40s and 50s.

Not bad at all! Part of a new SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package, the $1,000 comprises a top-up of $500 given to all Singaporeans aged 25 and older, and an additional top-up of $500 specifically for those aged 40 to 60 this year. A hiring incentive will also be provided to employers who hire local jobseekers aged 40 and above through a reskilling programme.

Thumbs up for this much-welcomed move to avoid displacement of this particular group which is no doubt facing greater competition from younger workers with stronger credentials!

Wah, this SkillsFuture angbao nubbad

Now now, before you go ahead and blow all your credits on your hobby, you probably want to reconsider, take a step back, and use this opportunity to invest in yourself, upskill, or even, reskill. A mid-career switch is actually not all that unattainable.

Honestly, you aren’t likely to make it in your career unless you give it your all – blood, sweat and tears. In other words, don’t half-a** your career, please.


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Where do I even start…

SkillsFuture credits can be used for approved courses offered at selected private education institutes e.g. Continuing Education & Training (CET) Centres appointed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) or other SSG-approved training organisations, and MOE-funded arts institutions like LaSalle and Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts.

For a start, you can also check out The website lets you to gain insightful information on industries and jobs, find training opportunities, and obtain knowledge from various resources to stay ahead.


Spoilt for choice leh… What course do I go for?

So, we did the legwork and asked recruiters what the most sought-after skills today are. Well, other than the evergreen soft skills like negotiation skills, emotional intelligence and adaptability, do you know which the most desirable hard skills are these days?


Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and analytical reasoning led LinkedIn’s global list of the most in-demand hard skills in 2019. All these are on the list again this year, but a new skill — blockchain — tops it for 2020. There you go, the gold uncovered!

Deep technology expertise – sounds sexy, doesn’t it?

Deep-tech industries include industries like cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and big data analytics. A global race is on to entice professionals in these prized sectors. Foreign talent, I hear?

As Singapore’s most steady beng, straight-shooting Trade and Industry Minister, Chan Chun Sing, put it,

“If Singapore sits back and does nothing, we will almost certainly be left behind. We have only a small window to build a critical mass of high-end professionals, start-ups and companies.”

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Read again, a S-M-A-L-L window. Time is of essence, hence the need to complement our local workforce with global deep-tech talent is essential for quick operational scaling.

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Knew it… the sexy jobs gonna go to the many, many South Asians here, huh?

Come on, we wanna attract the unicorns of the world but close our doors to foreign talent? Not quite possible – afterall – MNCs will want to recruit top talents, foreigner or not…

Vibrancy of the workforce definitely contributes to fostering your network. Well, let’s put it this way, if they eventually make it somewhere, there’s much to tap on from the network. Also, namedropping is kind of cool, no? Food for thought!

The initial bringing in of these highly-skilled professionals is key in helping to kickstart and build the capabilities of our workforce. Given the vibrancy of the Indian deep-tech start-up scene, it is really a no-brainer that we connect Singapore’s technology start-ups and small and medium enterprises to India’s tech ecosystem.

DPM Heng mentioned the reduction of the S Pass sub-DRCs of the Construction, Marine Shipyard, and Process sectors from 20% to 15% in his Budget 2020 speech. Game on, Singaporeans. Do your part, OK?

Singapore Budget 2020: Should We Give Singaporeans Exactly What They Asked For?

We all have a duty to catch up and seize the upskilling and reskilling opportunities as it looks like the government will possibly reduce S-pass quotas gradually in other sectors. Our citizens then need to develop the skills necessary to take over these jobs, sooner, hopefully, not later.

After all, more than annual one-off cash angbaos, the best welfare that any government can provide their citizens with is training, job opportunities and stability!

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(Featured image via)

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