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What Is The Skills Passport And How Can You Make Use Of It?
In 2019, the Singapore government launched a blockchain-based platform which allows Singaporean employees and job/academic candidates to store their educational qualifications, licenses and other certificates. This is named the Skills Passport, and is now a section within every individual’s MySkillsFuture account.
What is the Skills Passport for?
Jointly developed by SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG), Government Technology Agency (GovTech), Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP), and the Ministry of Education (MOE), the Skills Passport serves 2 purposes.
Firstly, as a single digital repository for education and training certificates, it allows employers to easily identify the qualifications of employees and job candidates and verify them through OpenCerts (opencerts.io). The blockchain system underpinning OpenCerts makes it fraud-proof as each digital certificate will have a unique cryptography code and any signs of tampering can be easily detected by checking against its code on the blockchain.
Individuals simply have to share their OpenCerts files (.opencerts) with potential employers or authorities without having to provide certified true copies of all their certificates for a job or academic admissions application. The OpenCerts files will then be automatically verified. This makes the administrative process much more efficient, saving time and costs.
Secondly, by showcasing all the skills (at least the certifiable ones) on a single platform, the Skills Passport can help individuals recognise more easily the skills they have developed at school, at work and through life experiences. This also means that the areas which merit improvement will also become more apparent, allowing for better and smoother planning of further skills development. Indeed, the myriad of courses and learning events offered by MySkillsFuture are primed for exactly this purpose.
What qualifications are stored in the Skills Passport?
Current qualifications being uploaded into the Skills Passport are N, O and A Levels; ITE qualifications; diploma and degree qualifications from polytechnics, LASALLE College of the Arts, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Autonomous Universities and the National Institute of Early Childhood Development; as well as Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) digital certificates. Vocational and driving licences can also be uploaded.
How does one access the Skills Passport?
The Skills Passport is nestled within your MySkillsFuture account. In order to register for a MySkillsFuture account, a Singpass account is required. A Singpass account can be registered here.
How does one view OpenCerts files shared or downloaded from the Skills Passport?
Simply open a browser window and go to https://opencerts.io. Then, drag and drop the OpenCerts file that has been shared or downloaded onto the page to view the digital certificate. This easy process is applicable both for personal and organisational use.
For more information on the Skills Passport, go onto the MySkillsFuture website.
A good way to further develop skills and build up an impressive Skills Passport is to make use of your SkillsFuture Credit. Launched in 2015, all Singaporeans aged 25 and above will receive an opening credit of S$500 to be spent on certified training programmes and courses.
To further encourage Singaporeans to upskill or reskill and be sufficiently prepared for fresh career opportunities in a new economy, the recent Budget 2020 has allowed for an additional one-off top up of S$500 to every Singaporean aged 25 and above as of 31 December 2020. This can be used for all SkillsFuture Credit-eligible courses from 1 Oct 2020.
The whole range of eligible courses can be found here.
In addition, every Singaporean aged 40 – 60 years old as of 31 December 2020 will receive a further one-off provision of S$500 in addition to the top-up mentioned above. This is to be used on career transition programmes (of which there are about 200) offered by the Continuing Education and Training (CET) Centres, which are public training providers which offer a comprehensive array of Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) courses. The purpose of this is to provide mid-career support for any Singaporeans who need help in dealing with the vicissitudes of a career change; CET Centres also provide services such as employment advisory and placement.
More information on CET Centres and the programmes they offer can be found here.
Do take note that these one-off credit provisions will expire on 31 December 2025.