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Written Answer by Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Disbursements from Skills Development Fund

Notice Paper No. 53 Of 2014 For The Sitting On 17 February 2014 Question No. 1766

MP: Mr Yee Jenn Jong

To ask the Acting Minister for Manpower over the past three years (a) how much monies are contributed yearly by employers to the Skills Development Levy (SDL); (b) how much monies are disbursed yearly from the Skills Development Fund (SDF) as subsidies for training; and (c) how much of the disbursements are made to small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and, of these, how much are made to SMEs with less than 10 employees.


  1. Monies collected from the Skills Development Levy (SDL) are placed into the Skills Development Fund (SDF). Funds from the SDF are used to support workforce upgrading and to provide training grants to employers when they send their employees for training.
  2. In the latest financial year FY2012, approximately $210 million in SDL was collected. A total of $171 million was committed for both training subsidies and CET infrastructure development. Of the $171 million, $67 million was given directly to employers in the form of course fee subsidies and absentee payroll, with 43% ($29 million) received by SMEs. Of the $29 million, $7 million went to sponsoring SMEs with 10 employees or fewer.
  3. SMEs form the backbone of our economy. As we restructure our economy to achieve productivity driven growth, we are also investing heavily in helping SMEs to upgrade the skills of their workforce. Since 2012, we have increased the funding for SMEs, providing 90% course fee subsidies and higher absentee payroll to encourage SMEs to send their employees for training. This was based on feedback from SMEs and industry associations who identified training and upgrading as a key area where they hoped to receive more Government support.
  4. As we continue to enhance our CET offerings, we would like to take this opportunity to encourage all enterprises to actively tap on our CET programmes to improve the skills and productivity of their workforce.