What Is SkillsConnect About And How Do I Benefit?

SkillsConnect

SkillsConnect is an online portal developed by the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (SSG). It serves companies and training organisations that wish to apply for the accreditation of courses they offer under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications System (WSQ).  Moreover, SkillsConnect provides training grants for both WSQ and non-WSQ programs.

The SkillsConnect portal is available throughout, with the only exception being 9:00 p.m. to 1.00 a.m. every Tuesday and Friday for maintenance.  You do not have to pay to use the system. The only fees incurred on this platform are the administrative charges when applying for WSQ Organisation Accreditation.

Recommended PC Configurations and Data Encryption

To use SkillsConnect, your computer must have a minimum of 1GB RAM and a processor that is Pentium IV or better. Concerning the operating system, it should be Windows Vista, Mac OS 10, SUSE Linux, or a higher version. The supported browsers include Chrome version 35, Firefox version 28, Internet Explorer version 8, and Safari version 7, and above.

The portal secures all transactions by encrypting data using a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption protocol.

 

The Functions of SkillsConnect

SkillsConnect has four essential functions. First, the portal accepts submissions from training organisations for the accreditation of courses and funding approval.

Second, it allows companies to apply for training grants and submit claims when they send their staff for training on the approved courses.

Thirdly, the portal enables trainees to access the national database, where they can search and view the course on offer.

Lastly, individuals can view and print the history of their training and assessment records, download and print electronic certificates, and apply for SkillsFuture Qualification Award.

How to Access SkillsConnect

If your company has never registered with SkillsConnect, you will first need to create a CorpPass account that allows you transact on the portal. Without a CorpPass account, you cannot log in into SkillsConnect.

Companies with an existing SkillsConnect profile can log in using either SingPass or CorpPass.

Benefits of Having a Company Profile in SkillsConnect

The most significant advantage of having your profile on SkillsConnect is the ability to apply for funding support when your staff go for the training of SSG supported programs on SkillsConnect. 

Additionally, you can maintain the organisation profile and apply for a training grant and submit claims for course fees and applicable absentee payrolls.

The SkillsConnect company profile also allows you to edit training grant applications and claims. You also get access to the SkillsConnect inbox where you can process saved and rejected applications.

Lastly, you can monitor the company profile, email notifications, disbursements, claims, and training grant applications.

How To Apply for a SkillsConnect Company Profile

Most parts of the procedure are similar to the one used to access SkillsConnect. However, you will also need to be in active operation and have accreditation from the relevant authorities such as ACRA.

You must also attach supporting documents to your application, including a proof of revenue earned, CPF 90 forms, Home Office Scheme approval letter for home-based businesses, and any other material related to your enterprise.

Notably, the registration process is free. If your application gets rejected, it is probably because you failed to include a particular document. Ensure that you provide the requested information and then resubmit the form.

When uploading supporting documents to the SkillsConnect portal, remember to mark confidential documents. This ensures that documents with private information are only viewable by the SSG.

 

Which Companies Are Eligible for Enhanced Training Support under the SME Scheme?

For a company to qualify as an SME, it has to be registered or incorporated in Singapore. It should also have a staff of 200 individuals or fewer, and generate an annual sales turnover of S$100 million or less. Furthermore, at least 30% of its shareholders must be either Singapore citizens or have a permanent residence in Singapore.

If a company meets all of the criteria mentioned above, it qualifies for the enhanced training support program. Non-businesses can also be eligible if they meet the listed requirements. It is worth noting that ministries, statutory boards and other government agencies are exempted from this program.

If your company is still new and less than a year old, you can show the projected yearly sales revenue based on the proceeds earned so far. For example, if you have operated for six months and made S$100,000, your annual sales turnover should be S$200,000.

Training Grants on SkillsConnect

SkillsConnect offers training grants to help you improve the knowledge of your employees. For instance, if you are a digital marketing agency, it would be great if your staff learned more about SEM and SEO in Singapore.

Eligibility Criteria

Before anything, you must have a company profile registered on SkillsConnect. Only the CEO or a management representative can create and submit a training grant application. The system administrator can only prepare such applications.

The applications are only eligible if submitted 30 days before the course starts or 30 days after it starts. It is advisable to search for a course for availability before applying.

You can also apply for a training grant for in-house courses, but they will first have to get approval from SkillsConnect.  To do this, you have to register for a non-WSQ training organisation profile.

Training Grant Application Requirements

When applying for the training grants, you have to provide the training organisation name, course title, courses start, duration and end dates, and the trainee details.

Claims on SkillsConnect

If you are for some reason unsatisfied with the quality of a training program, SkillsConnect allows you to make a claim. A successful claim will earn you a refund so that your money does not go into waste.

Eligibility Criteria

To make a claim on SkillsConnect, the employer must have paid all the fees required to the training organisation.   The employee must be either Singaporean or living permanently in the country.

Additionally, the trainee should have attended 75% of the training lessons and must have passed exams and assessments where applicable.

Creating a Claim

As is the case with training grants, only the CEO and management representatives can create and submit claims.  The claim must be filed within 120 days after the course ends. 

Claim Application Requirements

Before creating a claim, you must have course duration components, course fee details, training attendance record, exam results (if applicable), and payment details.

You are not required to attach additional support documents when submitting a claim. In case more information is needed, SkillsConnect will get in touch.

If you submit a wrongful claim, there is a provision for withdrawing. You have to submit a request containing the claim reference number, your company name, training organisation, the course title, course details and the reasons for withdrawal.

Conclusion

SkillsConnect is an invaluable tool for any company looking to improve the level of knowledge possessed by its employees. Staff training is vital to the development of any company in Singapore, as it ensures that the workers are up to date with the latest developments in the industry. This, in turn, translates into more productivity, which can significantly grow a business. It also gives you a competitive edge over rival companies.

Furthermore, the courses listed on the portal undergo rigorous scrutiny before approval, which guarantees their quality. Even better, you have the opportunity to apply for grants so that your staff can get training at a subsidised fee.

Get in touch for digital marketing services in Singapore. 

 

Author Bio

Tom Koh

Tom Koh is the CEO of MediaOne, a leading Asia digital agency. He comes packed with 2 decades of international digital marketing experience. In his spare time of maybe 20 minutes a day, he loves coaching, blogging about all things digital and trying to figure out how to make his dog do the roll.
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July 27, 2019

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