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Government Funding and Assistance Schemes Available in Singapore: Upskilling and Retraining, Part II

In this article, we will focus on Workfare and how it can help your business.


Global Innovation Alliance

Workfare Training Support (WTS) encourages individuals to attend training to upgrade their work skills and improve their employability. The following benefits are up for grabs:

  • For Employers: Up to 95% absentee payroll (no cap) for all Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) courses.
  • For Individuals applying alone: Training allowance (TA) of $6.00 for each hour of training, up to a cap of 180 hours per WSS eligibility year.
  • A cash reward for completing training
  • An additional Training Commitment Award of up to $1,000 for making particular achievements.


In order to qualify, an individual or employee must:

  • Be a Singapore Citizen;
  • Aged 35 years and above (13 years and above for Persons with Disabilities);
  • Earn an average gross monthly income of not more than $2,300 for the months worked;
  • Complete and pass the course (minimum 75% attendance)
  • Live in a property with an annual value of less than $13,000 assessed as at 31 December of the preceding year;
  • Own less than two properties;
  • If married:
    • Together with spouse, and both own less than two properties; or
    • Spouse’s assessable income for the preceding Year of Assessment is less than $70,000.


Workfare Income Supplement

Singapore Citizens may receive Workfare Income Supplements of between $1,700 to $4,000 for two months after the month s/he has worked.

You qualify for Workfare if you:

  • Are a Singapore Citizen;
  • Are 35 years old or above on 31 December of the work year (all persons with disabilities would qualify for WIS);
  • Earn a gross monthly income of not more than $2,300 for the month worked or in the past 12 months;
  • Are not be living in a property with an annual value of more than $13,000 assessed as at 31 December of the preceding year;
  • Must not own two or more properties; or
  • If married:
    • You and your spouse together must not own two or more properties; or
    • The assessable income of your spouse for the preceding Year of Assessment must not exceed $70,000.


Career Trial for Employers

Employers can assess jobseekers’ job fit through a short-term work trial before offering employment. Career Trial offers 30% of monthly salary for up to 6 months, capped at $5,400 per hire (full-time) and $2,700 (part time).

To qualify, Companies must be:

  • Actively hiring for jobs paying at least $1,500 (for full-time or $750 for part-time position) or more;
  • Offering employment to suitable jobseekers on permanent terms or on contract terms that are no less than one (1) year after completion of Career Trial;
  • Looking to hire unemployed Singapore Citizens who have been actively looking for jobs for 6 months or more;
  • Providing a customised trial per Career Trial position of between 16 hours to 480 hours (full time) or 240 hours (part time), capped at 80 hours/month.


Funding for Disability Employment

The Open Door Programme aims to encourage employers to hire, train and integrate persons with disabilities.

  • Course fee subsidy of up to 90% for persons with disabilities
  • Course fee subsidy of up to 90% for co-workers to provide natural support for persons with disabilities
  • Job redesign grant of up to 90% of costs incurred, capped at $20,000/persons with disabilities hired. Costs may include purchase of equipment, workplace modifications, redesigning of job scopes or processes and consultancy services.
  • Where at least 20% of hired workforce are persons with disabilities, businesses can get direct allocation of HDB shop spaces. In addition, SMEs will enjoy a 20% rental discount for their first three years of tenancy.
  • A Special Employment Credit of 16% of the employee’s monthly income, up to $240 per month may be received by employers.


Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ)

WSQ is a national credential system that trains, develops, assesses and certifies skills and competencies for the workforce. WSQ ensures existing and emerging skills and competencies that are in demand are used to inform training and development. It also adopts the skills and competencies covered in the Skills Frameworks, the nationally standardised skills prescription for various industries here.


WSQ Award

For every attainment of WSQ full qualification such as a WSQ Certificate, Higher Certificate or Advanced Certificate, working Singapore Citizens may obtain a $200 award. For certain WSQ frameworks, obtaining a WSQ Diploma, Specialist Diploma, Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma will enable a Singapore Citizen to be eligible for a $1,000 award.



This was a brief overview of the assistance that business and individuals may receive in Singapore, focusing mainly on Workfare. Stay tuned for next week when we continue exploring government assistance for upskilling and retraining for Singapore companies.

At Silvester Legal, we work extensively with SMEs and start-ups to understand our clients’ needs. We want our clients to take full advantage of the opportunities available to them as they pursue their business ventures.


Disclaimer: The materials prepared here are for general information purposes only to inform you about Silvester Legal LLC, our services and related matters. The information presented is not legal advice and is not to be acted on as such.


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