Good news for Singapore Citizens who seek to upgrade their skills through the Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) system.

From 1 January 2016, every Singapore citizen who attains a full WSQ qualification will be given a Continuing Education and Training (CET) Qualification Award.

According to a press release by the Singapore Workforce Development Agency (WDA), the cash quantum remains at $200 for WSQ Certificate, Higher Certificate or Advanced Certificate, and at $1,000 for WSQ Diploma and Specialist Diploma.

At the same time, the CQA of $1,000 will also be extended to holders of WSQ Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma.

The CQA was introduced in March 2011 in order to recognise the efforts of Singapore Citizens who took steps to upgrade their skills by achieving their first WSQ qualifications.

Currently, only those who attain their first WSQ qualification will receive a one-time cash award -  $200 for the WSQ Certificate, Higher Certificate, or Advanced Certificate and $1,000 for the WSQ Diploma or Specialist Diploma will get a one-time cash award of $1,000.

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"Recognising that the external environment is volatile and highly uncertain, the changes seek to encourage Singaporeans to continually upgrade and deepen their skills, or acquire new skills that will allow them to explore new job opportunities," the press release stated.

There are currently 34 WSQ frameworks provided by the WDA. These frameworks cover over 30 sectors, and cater to industry-specific skills deepening as well as horizontal skills training such as service excellence and business management.

"As skills mastery is critical to ensuring workforce competitiveness and continued economic progress, we are making changes to the CQA to further encourage Singaporeans to pursue skills deepening and lifelong learning," said Ng Cher Pong, chief executive, WDA.

He added, "The CQA complements other SkillsFuture initiatives such as the SkillsFuture Credit and SkillsFuture Study Awards, to support Singaporeans in their efforts to continue to improve themselves and advance their careers based on skills."

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