The Ministry of Education (MOE) and SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) are amending the SSG Act and the Skills Development Levy (SDL) Act, to strengthen our safeguards for public monies and ability to act against misrepresentations and abuses of SSG funding and schemes. MOE and SSG are also amending the two Acts to improve clarity, including refining the coverage of funding under the SSG Act and aligning the definition of “remuneration” in the SDL Act to that of “wages” in the Central Provident Fund (CPF) Act. SSG will conduct a public consultation exercise to seek public’s views on the intended amendments.
Enhancing regulatory oversight
As more individuals and employers embrace lifelong learning, there has been increased funding support for Continuing Education and Training (CET) programmes by SSG and the Skills Development Fund over the past few years.
Amidst this growing CET landscape, SSG has observed increasing cases of misrepresentations and abuses of SSG funding and schemes. Some examples of misrepresentation include training providers and/or marketing agents falsely indicating that a course was accredited by SSG, or falsely indicating that a course was free when the fee would need to be borne by individuals’ SkillsFuture Credit.
The proposed amendments to the SSG Act will enhance SSG’s regulatory oversight and provide SSG with more investigative powers to take punitive action against errant parties who: (i) abuse SSG’s funding; and (ii) misrepresent SSG’s funding and schemes. This will allow SSG to direct errant parties to take remedial action where necessary, such as to refund monies to affected individuals and to return disbursed funding to SSG.
Under the SDL Act, SSG is the administrator of the Skills Development Fund (SDF). In tandem with the proposed amendments of SSG Act, SSG intends to amend the applicable provisions in the SDL Act to cover grants drawn from the SDF to support CET funding.
Alignment of definitions
SSG is also proposing changes to refine the coverage of funding under the SSG Act to expressly set out a legal basis for the funds it can disburse, and to align the definition of “remuneration” in the SDL Act to that of “wages” in the CPF Act. With the amendment to the definition, the computation of SDL and CPF liabilities will use the same basis of monthly income and employers will use the “wages” definition in the CPF Act for SDL payable to SSG. This will avoid any confusion, thus ensuring ease of compliance.
Public views sought on amendment to SSG Act and SDL Act
SSG will conduct a public consultation exercise from 8 July 2022 to 5 August 2022
to seek public’s views on the amendment to the SSG Act and SDL Act. Members of the public can access the documents and give their views online via REACH at this link
. A summary of the main comments received, and MOE/SSG’s responses will be published on the REACH portal and SSG’s website. The identity of respondents will not be disclosed.