Free SkillsFuture courses
For some of us, school’s a distant memory. But that doesn’t stop us from wanting to pick up new skills every now and then, in pursuit of lifelong learning.
However, classes can be pretty expensive. Some of them can easily cost us half a month’s salary, and the last thing we want is to break the bank, especially for a skill that’s interest-based rather than one that will further your career.
Fortunately, Singaporeans aged 25 and above have $500 worth of SkillsFuture credits available from October 2020 to 2025, which means we don’t have to hesitate in adding more workfare skills to our existing repertoire. Here are some SkillsFuture Singapore offerings of different course level difficulties that you can learn without forking out a single cent.
For other SkillsFuture courses with funding schemes, take a look here:
1. Enhance your photos with basics of Photoshop
Funded courses from: $19.98
Photoshop can be daunting for first-time users, but the modular course from UDEMY runs you through the basics with lessons on image manipulation, layer creation, and tool selection. With these tools on hand, your profile’s well on their way to becoming IG goals.
How much you save: $30-$500 per course
2. Learn a new language like Korean or French
Image credit: @iambonabona
Funded courses from: $29.99
Whether we want to communicate with friends from other ethnicities, or to understand our favourite K-drama without English subs, learning a new language is always useful. If you’re thinking big, this could even make an overseas job posting a reality.
Bahasa Melayu, Korean, Japanese, and French classes – you name it, they got it. For instance, the funded courses by OnePA under People’s Association includes beginner to intermediate levels, so it’s best suited for peeps who want to familiarise themselves with the language.
Check out the online course finder for the full range of OnePA language courses. They’re held at community clubs, with each CC holding different language classes at affordable course fee amounts. Besides that, there are also other SkillsFuture language courses that are claimable.
How much you save: $18-$261 per course
3. Apply makeup flawlessly
Funded courses from: $160
We envy the flawless makeup looks on beauty gurus like Jeffree Star, but with a few lessons, you can learn to do them yourselves, too.
OnePA offers basic makeup training where the course is designed to be beginner-friendly and easy to follow. You’ll also learn to understand the different types of skin and skin tones, so you’ll be able to select the most suitable products for yourself. Who knows, these courses might even be the start of your freelance make-up artist career!
Check out the range of OnePA make-up courses claimable through SkillsFuture Singapore, conveniently held at neighbourhood CCs.
How much you save: $58.50-$153 per course
4. Equip yourself with barista skills
Image credit: @baristartcoffee_sg
Funded courses from: $200
Pulling, dosing, steaming – to us, they seem like common words, but to the Starbucks barista, it’s all part of the, ahem, daily grind.
Those wishing to whip up their go-to coffees on their own can pick up basic barista skills through People’s Association’s OnePA student portal. SkillsFuture-claimable barista courses are held at community clubs like Bishan CC and Tampines Changkat CC, where you’ll learn about different types of coffee-based drinks and go through enhanced training on how to make them.
How much you save: $31.50-$318.96 per course
5. Make your own flower arrangements
Image credit: one PA
Funded courses from: $80
Flower arrangement is not only a delicate art, but one of the emerging skills that may allow you to take on a side hustle. A single flower may be beautiful on its own, but weave in some fillers like baby’s breath and you’ve got yourself a pretty centrepiece fit for a gift or your dining table.
Image credit: The People’s Association
Flower arrangement training programmes hosted by People’s Association AKA onePA are suitable for beginners, but the full course covers techniques ranging from circular hand bouquets all the way to a fruit basket. Classes are held at multiple neighbourhood community clubs such as Ang Mo Kio CC and Kampong Glam CC, so you can head over to the one nearest to you.
How much you save: $18-$90 per course
6. Groom your dog without going to the vet
Funded courses from: $110
Our long-haired pups need a monthly grooming session to keep them in tip-top condition, but it can be pretty costly.
Here’s where these dog grooming training programmes from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and the Institute of Technical Education come in. Although the course level is elementary, they’ll equip you with basic skills such as ear cleaning and nail trimming so you can do them yourself at home. And yes, these courses are open to the public, so anyone can join.
Find more information about SkillsFuture-claimable dog grooming courses offered by lifelong learning education institutes as the training provider.
How much you save: $250 per course
7. Soothe aches with a massage
Funded courses from: $15
Through a short course from People’s Association’s onePA student portal, you’ll learn to give your loved ones a massage and help them work out their knots and aches – without them screaming in pain. These courses are held at community clubs like Siglap CC and Nee Soon South CC, so you can sign up for a course intake at a location that’s convenient for you.
How much you save: $27-$153 per course
9. Improve your photography skills
Funded courses from: $108
Taking good photos is harder than it looks, which is why the basic photography courses for adult learners via NTUC LearningHub are a godsend. You’ll be taken through the rungs of digital photography, where you’ll learn the art of snapping a good pic with your mobile phone and editing it accordingly.
You’ll be expected to turn in a photo of your surroundings and a self-portrait by the end of the course. It’s a means to see how much you’ve learnt over the course, and you might surprise yourself to see how far you’ve come.
Find out more about the NTUC LearningHub digital photography course, including information on course intake and their academic calendar. You can also explore the course directory for other SkillsFuture-claimable photography courses.
How much you save: $38 per course
10. Give yourself salon-worthy hairstyles
Funded courses from: $160
For some of us, the most intricate thing we can do with our hair is to plait it or throw it into a messy bun. A hairstyling short course at community clubs like Clementi CC and Teck Ghee CC will equip you with the basic know-how of styling your hair.Between curling your hair or putting it up into an updo, your next hairstyle for a future formal event is pretty much set. Check out onePA hairstyling courses for elementary-level enhanced training or take your pick of SkillsFuture-claimable hairstyling courses, including those with reputable institutions like Kimage Hairdressing School as the training provider.
How much you save: $40.50-$225 per course
Cheap SkillsFuture courses in Singapore
Lifelong learning is often emphasised, especially in this fast-paced digital economy. The good news is, our enhanced subsidy means you don’t necessarily have to fork out too much to learn something new.
This curated list of short and manageable SkillsFuture courses are not only informative, they’re also entirely claimable with your $500+ worth of SkillsFuture credits. What this means in terms of financial matters is that you can safely stow your wallet and credit card away.
And with these funded courses being so affordable, you’ll still have enough credits for a second course afterwards! Who knows, they may open the doors to a new job posting or two.
For other courses besides the SkillsFuture series:
Originally published on 25th September 2020. Last updated by Renae Cheng on 6th March 2023.Cover image adapted from: @trivelopeacademy