What is the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP)?

The Enhanced Training Support Package comprises of enhanced AP funding rate at 90% of hourly basic salary, capped at $10 per hour and enhanced Course Fee support at up to 90% of course fees.

Currently, Absentee Payroll (AP) rates are at 80% of hourly basic salary, capped at $7.50 per hour and $4.50 per hour for SMEs and non-SMEs respectively.

As part of the Stabilisation and Support Package and supplementary Resilience Budget announced by DPM Heng Swee Keat, enterprises (SMEs and non-SMEs) in the tourism, air transport, retail, food and beverage (F&B), point-to-point transport/private bus companies, and arts and culture sectors will be eligible for the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP). This is to support these enterprises who send their workers for selected sector-specific training  programmes  by  SSG-appointed  training  partners.  AP  funding  is  not applicable to tourist guides, who are self -employed persons.

From 1 May 2020, the enhanced absentee payroll rates will be further extended to cover all sectors. This will apply to all courses that are eligible for absentee payroll funding today , e.g. selected courses by SSG-appointed CET  Centres or  certifiable  courses by other SSG-approved training providers.  Employers are advised to check with the training providers on the courses that are eligible for absentee payroll funding. The ETSP will be time-limited to cover eligible courses starting before 1 Jan 2021.

What is the duration of the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP), and will the duration be extended?

The ETSP will be time-limited to cover eligible courses starting before 1 Jan 2021.  Enterprises (both SMEs and non-SMEs) are eligible for funding under the ETSP if they send their employees for training which commence within the following periods:

*Includes tourist guides who are self-employed persons. AP funding is not applicable to tourist guides.

 

Why can’t the enhanced Absentee Payroll (AP) for all sectors be rolled out earlier than 1 May 2020?

SSG is working on disbursing Absentee Payroll (AP) grants to employers in two tranches.  Employers will continue to apply and receive baseline AP funding through SSG’s SkillsConnect Portal. SSG will disburse a top-up payment in a subsequent tranche. As SSG is currently focusing its efforts on the more severely affected sectors, employers in other sectors can only receive enhanced AP from May 2020.

 

Why are only employers in the Tourism, Air Transport, F&B, Retail, point-to-point transport and private bus companies, and Arts and Culture sectors eligible for enhanced course fee fundings?

The Enhanced Course Fee subsidy is focused on these sectors as they are most directly and severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Such support aims to help enterprises in these sectors retain their employees and encourage them to make use of this period to restructure, train and upgrade their employees’ skills.

However, we are extending enhanced Absentee Payroll for enterprises across all sectors, in recognition of the economy-wide impact of the outbreak. The Government is actively monitoring the economic impact of the virus outbreak and is prepared to extend enh anced support to other affected sectors as the COVID-19 situation evolves.

Absentee payroll (AP) funding for SMEs and non-SMEs will be raised to the same rates. Given the SMEs are more vulnerable than non-SMEs, why are SMEs not given higher wage support?
 

We recognise that it is challenging for both SMEs and non -SMEs to sustain their businesses in this period. Hence, we have raised funding support to the same rate for all enterprises.

 

Why is the Government enhancing Absentee Payroll (AP) rates? Is there demand for training in this climate? If not, could the monies be better used, for instance, for providing direct transfers?

The outbreak of COVID-19 has affected enterprises’ revenue and profit margins and is expected to lead to the corresponding rise in worker redundancy. This economic effect is particularly significant in the tourism, air transport, food services, retail, point-to-point transport and private hire buses, and arts and culture sectors, especially in the absence of further government intervention.

To soften this impact and encourage enterprises to retain their workers, employers are encouraged to take advantage of the current downtime to send their workers for industry – relevant training, so that enterprises can be in a position of strength to capitalise on the upswing when the economy recovers.

 

Will enterprise that receive additional wage support from Government (such as Jobs Support Scheme and Senior Employment Credit) be eligible for enhanced absentee payroll (AP) funding?

Yes, enterprises will be eligible for enhanced absentee payroll (AP) funding if they send their employees for SSG-supported certifiable training, except for funded programmes which already provided wage support. One example is Professional Conversion Progra mmes (PCPs) which provide salary support.

What is the difference between the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) and SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC)?

The Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) is part of the Stabilisation and Support Package and supplementary Resilience Budget announced by DPM Heng Swee Keat. The ETSP is time -limited to cover eligible courses starting before 1 Jan 2021. It aims to help sectors tide over the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and position themselves for subsequent recovery.

The SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) aims to encourage employers to invest in enterprise and workforce transformation. Eligible employers will receive additional support for their enterprise and workforce transformation efforts, over and above the support levels of existing schemes.

The ETSP is rolled out in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and serves to alleviate enterprises’ training needs in the near-term, while the SFEC serves the medium to long term needs of companies by encouraging employers to invest in enterprise and workforce transformation.

Can enterprise tap on both Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) and SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit (SFEC) for the same eligible course?

For the same eligible course, enterprises may tap on SFEC to cover up to 90% of the remaining out of pocket course fees if they are eligible for SFEC and embark on training from 1 April 2020. However, enterprises may wish to note that the SFEC will only be reimbursed to employers from 1 Apr 2021.  More details on the claims process and requirements will be made available in due course.

Eligibility Criteria

Is enhanced Course Fee and enhanced Absentee Payroll funding only for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Resident employees?

Yes, enhanced Course Fee and enhanced AP funding is only for SC and PR employees.

Is the Enhanced Course Fee Subsidy and Enhanced Absentee Payroll funding extended to self-employed persons?

Eligible specific self-employed persons e.g. tourist guides, and private hire drivers are eligible for the Enhanced Course Fee Subsidy when they attend sector- specific training programmes by SSG- appointed traini ng partners. However, they are not eligible for enhanced AP.

Other self-employed persons can continue to qualify for course fee subsidies at SSG’s prevailing rates:

 

 

Can employers claim the enhanced funding under ETSP each time they send their workers for training?

Yes, employers can claim the enhanced funding under ETSP each time they send their workers for training, subject to the eligibility requirements. However, the enhanced funding does not extend to repeated training activity (i.e. same trainee attending the same course by the same provider).

There is no cap on the number of workers that each employer can send for training.

If enterprises had sent their staff on No Pay Leave (cause of the situation), are the staff eligible for Enhanced Absentee Payroll?

Enhanced Absentee Payroll (AP) is intended to compensate the employer for the opportunity costs of sending the employee for training. AP should not be paid where the employer incurs no salary opportunity costs.

 

Are permanent part-time staff eligible for enhanced Absentee Payroll?

Yes.

Course Eligibility

What types of training/courses can enterprises claim the Enhanced Training Support Package (ETSP) for?

Enterprises with registered business activities in the following sectors – Tourism, Air Transport, F&B, Retail, point-to-point transport and private bus companies, and Arts & Culture sectors – can apply for selected sector-specific training programmes by SSG-appointed training partners. The training will focus on priority and emerging skills that the sector requires. Examples of these courses include:

a. Training in deep domain skills such as:

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b. Training in emerging digital skills

SSG mentioned that it will work with training providers to ramp up training capacity. Does this apply to all training providers and how are the training providers selected?

The appointed training partners are selected based on their proven track record in delivering quality CET programmes, and their ability to customise and ramp up training capacity. The selection of industry-relevant programmes was done in consultation with the sectoral agencies, to meet the long-term needs of affected enterprises in the sector. SSG will continue to monitor the training demand and progressively bring onboard other suitable training partners as needed.

Application Process

How to apply for Enhanced Training Support Package?

Interested enterprises may approach the following appointed training providers for more information. SSG will be progressively bringing on board other relevant training partners.

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Enterprises in all other sectors may follow the current process of applying for AP via the SkillsConnect system from May to June 2020 for courses completed before June 2020. From July 2020 onwards, companies can apply for AP via the new Training Grants System.

Source of Information : https://www.ssg.gov.sg/ETSP_EnhancedAP.html

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