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Written Answer by Mr Lim Swee Say, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Nexus between Income Earned and Attendance at Continuing Education & Training (CET) Courses

Notice Paper No. 198 Of 2015 For A Sitting On 13 July 2015 Question No. 280 For Written Answer  

MP: Mr Yee Jenn Jong

To ask the Minister for Manpower whether the Ministry tracks data that quantifies the association between attending Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses and the successful trainee attaining a higher income as a result of the CET course and, if so, whether the data can be published on a regular basis. 


  1. Skills development and lifelong learning are key to helping Singaporeans remain employable and to have good careers in the fast-changing global economy. We all need to continually upgrade and re-skill to remain competitive and employable.
  2. Since 2009, the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA) has been conducting annual Outcome Evaluation Surveys on training outcomes of individuals who undertook training under the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) system. The survey covers both individuals and employers. It aims to find out if individuals are able to apply their skills, advance their careers, or achieve job mobility after attending training. Findings from the annual surveys are already published. 
  3. Based on the latest published findings in 20141, 19% of respondents reported receiving a pay increment and 37% received a new or enlarged job scope. This is an increase from 15% and 34% respectively from the previous survey. In addition, 95% of the respondents said that WSQ training helped them perform more efficiently and effectively at work.
  4. WDA has also conducted a longitudinal study to compare the wages of individuals who had attended WSQ training with those who had not. The study, completed in 2013, showed that overall individuals who completed some WSQ training2 had higher wages of 1.3% to 4.3% compared to those who did not. Individuals who attained full WSQ qualifications had even better wage outcomes, with higher wages of 5.3% compared to those who only completed some WSQ training. Also, the benefits for lower-wage workers3 were higher than average4.
  5. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of our education and training system.

1For the Outcomes Evaluation Survey conducted in 2013.
2A Statement of Attainment (SOA) is issued when a trainee is assessed to be competent after completing a WSQ modular course. A few SOAs make up a WSQ full qualification. Those who receive some WSQ training refer to those who have obtained one or more SOAs, but not the full WSQ qualification. 
3Lower-Wage Workers are defined as those earning an average monthly income of $1,700 or below.
4Lower-wage workers who completed some WSQ training had higher wages of between 2.6% to 4.6% compared to those who did not, while those with full qualifications had higher wages of 7.6% compared to those who only completed some WSQ training.