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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Hi, how can we help?

This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page covers course registration and funding enquiries. For course-specific enquiries (e.g. details regarding Google Analytics course, Digital Marketing courses, Social Media Marketing courses, Email Marketing course, Shopify course) as well as other questions that have yet to be answered, feel free to contact us.

Course Eligibility and Course Registration

What is the Course Eligibility?

The course eligibility requirements for our training courses are:

  • Aged 21 and above
  • Have basic computer literacy Level 2
  • Have minimum GCE “N”, “O” or “A” Level / NITEC or a diploma qualification and minimum 2 years of working experience
  • Have an understanding and working knowledge of sales and marketing principles/practices and
  • Have an English language proficiency equivalent of higher of any of the following – GCSE N/O Levels pass in English / WPLN Level 5 / IELTS 5.5 / TOEFL (internet based total) 46-59.
How do I register for the training courses?

Each course description page has a course interest form. You can indicate your interest in the form, and our course consultant will get back to you. Alternatively, you can also complete this contact form to indicate your course interest.

Who should I contact if I have questions about a course?

If you have any questions about FirstCom Academy’s training courses, you can contact us at +65 6653 7552, email us at learn@fca.edu.sg or submit your enquiry through this contact form.

Course Fee & Absentee Payroll Funding

What training grants are available for Self-Sponsored Training (individuals)?

For self-sponsored Singapore Citizens (SCs) and Permanent Residents (PRs) individuals, aged 21 to 39 years old, you can get up to 50% funding for certifiable courses approved by SSG. For Singapore Citizens, aged 40 years old and above, you can get up to 70% funding for certifiable courses approved by SSG, under the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES). You will only need to pay the nett course fee (full course fee after SSG’s grant). You can also use your SkillsFuture Credit on top of the existing course fee subsidies.

What is the eligibility for course fee and absentee payroll funding?

All locally registered or incorporated organisations in Singapore are eligible for course fee and absentee payroll funding when you sponsor your Singapore Citizen and Permanent Resident employees for training courses funded by SSG.

  • Your organisation must be registered or incorporated in Singapore
  • Non-business entities not registered with ACRA, such as Voluntary Welfare Organisations (VWOs) and societies are eligible
  • Sole proprietorships which meet all of the above criteria are also eligible
What is Enhanced Training Support for Small and Medium Enterprises (ETSS)?

The Enhanced Training Support for SMEs (ETSS) offers additional support for SMEs in the form of higher course fee subsidies. SMEs enjoy SkillsFuture funding of up to 90% of the course fees when they sponsor their Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents employees to attend courses supported by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG). SMEs need to meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  1. Registered or incorporated in Singapore
  2. At least 30% local shareholding by Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
  3. Employment size of not more than 200 (at group level) or with annual sales turnover (at group level) of not more than $100 million
What is Absentee Payroll (AP) funding?

Absentee Payroll (AP) funding is a grant to help employers defray the manpower costs incurred when you send your employees for training courses funded by SSG. For training outside working hours, AP funding is given to you to defray the overtime pay that was paid to your employees. With effect from 1 Jan 2022, SSG will introduce a fixed Absentee Payroll (AP) rate at $4.50 per hour. There will also be a $100,000 cap on the maximum AP funding each organisation can claim each calendar year to ensure that the benefits are more evenly distributed across companies.

How to apply for Absentee Payroll (AP) funding?

There is no need to apply for Absentee Payroll (AP) funding as it is automatically computed and deducted from the course fee. You will need to declare your employees’ hourly salary information to claim for absentee payroll funding. To qualify for absentee payroll funding, your employees must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents
  • Trainee is not a full-time national serviceman
  • Courses have to be fully paid for by the employer
What is the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES)?

The SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy (MCES) supports and encourages lifelong learning and helps Singapore Citizens stay responsive to a changing workplace. Recognising that mid-career individuals may face greater challenges in undertaking training, the Government has implemented this programme to encourage mid-career Singapore Citizens, aged 40 years old and above, to upskill and reskill. You will only need to pay the nett fee (full course fee after SSG’s grant).

SkillsFuture Credit (SFC)

What is SkillsFuture Credit (SFC)?

SkillsFuture Credit consists of credits which Singapore Citizens can use to pay for out-of-pocket course fees for attending work-skills related courses. The credits can be used on top of existing course fee subsidies provided by the Government.

All Singaporeans aged 25 or above will receive SkillsFuture Credit of $500 from January 2016. This will not expire and you may accumulate your credit for a range of eligible courses on MySkillsFuture. On 1 October 2020, the Government provided a one-off SkillsFuture Credit Top-up of $500 for all eligible Singaporeans aged 25 or above by 31 December 2020. Singaporeans aged 40 to 60 by 31 December 2020 also received an Additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support) of $500. These new SkillsFuture Credit provisions will expire on 31 December 2025.

More information on SkillsFuture Credit.

What is the one-off Additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support)?

The Additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support) is a one-off SkillsFuture Credit of $500 provided by the government under the SkillsFuture Mid-Career Support Package, to improve access to reskilling programmes. This will be provided to every Singapore Citizen (SC) aged 40 to 60 (inclusive) as at 31 December 2020 and will be over and above the $500 SkillsFuture Credit top-up for SCs aged 25 and above as at 31 December 2020.

Can I use my SkillsFuture Credit (SFC) to pay for or offset the course fees?

Yes, you can use your SFC to pay for or offset course fees by applying for claim(s). All eligible Singaporeans will be able to access their SFC account to submit an SFC claim. More information on how to claim SkillsFuture Credit (individual).

How to check my SkillsFuture Credit balance?

You can log in to your SkillsFuture Credit account at MySkillsFuture to check your SkillsFuture Credit balance.

When must I submit my claim for SkillsFuture Credit?

At the point of course registration, you should inform us that you intend to use your SkillsFuture Credit in part of in full for the qualifying course fee. You should then submit your claim via MySkillsFuture within 60 days before the course start date (date inclusive).

How do I claim my SkillsFuture Credit for a course?

To submit a claim, you need to log in to your SkillsFuture Credit account at MySkillsFuture. After you click on “Proceed to Submit a Claim”, you need to search and select the course that you have registered, and select the correct course date. Next, you need to enter the SkillsFuture Credit amount to claim, and upload supporting documents (e.g. course confirmation email, invoice, receipt).

What happens if I have already paid for a course in full and wishes to use SkillsFuture Credit subsequently?

If you have already made an initial self-payment for a course in full, you will not be able to use SkillsFuture Credit for the course. You may use your SkillsFuture Credit for subsequent courses.

When will the SkillsFuture Credit (SFC) expire?

The original $500 SkillsFuture Credit that was provided in 2016 will continue to have no expiry if it has not been used yet.
The $500 One-Off SkillsFuture Credit Top-up will expire on 31 December 2025.
The Additional SkillsFuture Credit (Mid-Career Support) will be valid for five years to encourage individuals to take timely action to learn, reskill, and seize new career opportunities. All unused credit from this Additional SkillsFuture Credit will expire on 31 December 2025.

Can I transfer my expiring SkillsFuture Credit (SFC) to my family members, for them to use? Can I use my family members' SFC? 

No, the SFC is not transferable to other individuals as it is meant to support individual ownership of skills development and lifelong learning.

Can I use my SFC to co-fund the course fees of training that my employer will be sending me for?

No, you can’t use your SFC to co-fund the course fees of training with your employer. The SkillsFuture Credit supports individual-initiated training. It is not intended to pay for training provided by employers, which should continue to be borne by your employer.

SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)

What is SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)?
SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) aims to encourage employers to invest in enterprise and workforce transformation. Eligible employers will receive a one-off credit of up to $10,000 per firm to cover up to 90% of out-of-pocket expenses for their enterprise and workforce transformation efforts, over and above the support levels of existing schemes.
What are the criteria that employers must meet to be eligible for SFEC?

Employers which meet the following conditions will qualify for the SFEC:

  • Have contributed at least $750 Skills Development Levy (SDL) over a qualifying period;
  • Have employed at least three Singapore Citizens (SCs) or Permanent Residents (PRs) every month over the same period; and
  • Have not been qualified at any of the earlier periods.

For the SFEC Expansion, the qualifying period is 1 January 2021 – 31 December 2021, employers must meet the following conditions over the qualifying period:

  • Have employed at least three Singapore Citizens (SCs) or Permanent Residents (PRs) every
    month over the qualifying period; and
  • Have not been previously qualified for SFEC; and
  • Are not in default of their SDL contributions during the qualifying period and do not have an inactive ACRA status during the qualification process.
How do employers apply for SFEC?

There is no need to apply for SFEC. Employers that have fulfilled the eligibility criteria for SFEC will be informed of your eligibility by Enterprise Singapore. Your credit will be automatically used on supportable programmes that you have applied for.

Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP)

What is Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP)?

Union Training Assistance Programme (UTAP) is a training benefit for NTUC members to defray their cost of training. This benefit is to encourage more NTUC members to go for training and skills upgrading. UTAP is supported by the NTUC-Education and Training Fund (NETF).

NTUC members enjoy 50% off *unfunded course fee support for up to $250 each year when you sign up for courses supported under UTAP. Under the Enhanced UTAP, NTUC members aged 40 and above can enjoy higher funding support up to $500 per individual each year, capped at 50% of unfunded course fees, for courses attended between 1 July 2020 to 31 December 2022.

*Unfunded course fee refers to the balance course fee payable after applicable government subsidies. This excludes material fees, registration fees, misc. fees etc.

Who is eligible to apply for UTAP?

All NTUC members can apply for UTAP. However, the following criteria must be met to be eligible for UTAP:

  1. Paid-up NTUC membership before course commenced, throughout whole course duration and at the point of claim
  2. Course by training provider must be supported under UTAP, and training must commence within the supported period
  3. Course must not be fully funded through company sponsorship or other types of funding
  4. You must achieve a minimum of 75% attendance for each application and sat for all prescribed examination(s), if any
  5. UTAP application must be submitted within 6 months after course completion
Who is eligible to be a NTUC member?

NTUC Union Membership is open to persons above 16 years of age with valid NRIC/FIN number, except:

  • personnel from Singapore Police Force, Singapore Prison Service, Civil Defence Force, Singapore Armed Forces, Narcotics Service or Auxiliary Police bodies (Certis Cisco, Aetos and SATS), and
  • foreign domestic workers.
How do I apply for UTAP?

Step 1: Ensure the course and training provider is supported under UTAP (look out for the UTAP logo).
Step 2: Register for the course and attend the training.
Step 3: Login to the U Portal account to submit the UTAP application, with proof of payment (e.g.: Course Invoice / Receipt) and proof of course completion (e.g.: Course Certificate / Result Slip). NTUC Members should apply for their UTAP claim within 6 months after course ends. Late applications will be rejected.

Is there a limit to the number of courses that I can apply under UTAP?

You may apply for more than one course, for reimbursements up to the maximum cap allowed. The maximum claimable is capped annually at:

  • $250 for members below 40 years old
  • $500 for members aged 40 and above, where training must have commenced within 1st July 2020 to 31st December 2022
When can I receive my UTAP claims?

If you have completed your UTAP claim successfully and fulfilled the claim criteria, you should receive your claim(s) in 4 weeks after the submission of the relevant information. An email notification will be sent to you upon successful disbursement.

Others

Is FirstCom Academy an accredited training provider by Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ)?

Yes, FirstCom Academy is a WSQ SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Approved Training Organisation (ATO) in Singapore. We help busy professionals transform and upgrade their careers through courses taught by industry veterans. Our curriculum focuses on in-demand skills taught in a manner that is progressive, easy-to-understand and actionable. Choose our practical courses and get comprehensive certifications to grow your career today.

What is SkillsFuture?

SkillsFuture is a national movement that provides opportunities for all Singaporeans to develop to their fullest potential at different stages of their lives. Regardless of your starting point, you can realise your goals and aspirations through a holistic system of education and training. Whether you are a student, a working adult starting out in your career, a professional in your mid-career, or an experienced worker in your silver years – you can access a wealth of resources to help you attain skills mastery. Skills mastery is not about paper qualifications or traditional definitions of success. Instead, it is about continually striving towards excellence through knowledge, application, and experience.

Nurturing a culture of lifelong learning together with the skills, passion and contributions of every individual will drive Singapore’s next phase of development towards an advanced economy and inclusive society. More information about SkillsFuture.

What is the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ)?

The Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) is a national credential system that trains, develops, assesses and certifies skills and competencies for the workforce. WSQ is a continuing education and training (CET) system that supports the SkillsFuture movement to:

  • Promote recognition of skills and competencies to facilitate progression, mastery and mobility;
  • Promote holistic development of the workforce through technical and generic skills and competencies;
  • Support economic development by professionalising skills and competencies to drive industry transformation, productivity and innovation efforts; and
  • Encourage lifelong learning.

Training programmes developed under the WSQ system are based on skills and competencies validated by employers, unions and professional bodies. This process ensures existing and emerging skills and competencies that are in demand are used to inform training and development under WSQ. With the roll out of the Skills Frameworks in 2016, the WSQ adopts the skills and competencies covered in the Skills Frameworks. The WSQ programmes are funded and quality-assured by SkillsFuture Singapore, which awards the WSQ certifications. More information about WSQ.

What do I need to bring for the training course?

Please bring along a pen and a notebook if you wish to take notes during lesson. You may want to bring along a jacket in case you feel cold.