Support Site for The Unemployed & Underemployed
Tuesday January 15th 2019

WDA Continuing Education and Training (CET) Course Subsidy A Sham?

Hi Gilbert,

I want to share my frustrating experience when I applied for those subsidised courses posted up on the WDA website.

These are  Continuing Education and Training (CET) courses available to those who need upgrading subsidy and I am particularly keen in the creative industries:-

Creative Industries Apprenticeship Scheme  

The ‚ÄúCreative Industries Apprenticeship‚ÄĚ Scheme aims to help Singaporeans making an entry into the industry to acquire relevant CI WSQ training and practical work experience in a company.¬†The $3 million scheme will provide funding support to help employers defray training and salary costs during the apprenticeship period.

The first offerings under the Scheme will be for aspiring Assistant Producers and New Media Marketing professionals. Developed through a partnership between WDA and the Singapore Media Academy (SMA), a CET Centre appointed by WDA for the media sector since Nov 2008, to roll-out a programme targeted at aspiring Assistant Producers and New Media Marketing professionals will offer training at SMA coupled with job attachments to participating companies.  Successful trainees will be conferred nationally recognised WSQ qualifications upon successful completion of the programme.

 New CI Training Providers

Today, creative industry professionals can sign up for CI WSQ programmes at 6 CET Centres and 13 other training partners appointed by WDA. From June 2010, three new providers will be appointed to deliver WSQ training in the area of Performing Arts, Architecture and Intellectual Property Management. These three providers are the Center for Continuing Education New York University Tisch School of the Arts Asia, the Singapore Institute of Architects, and the IP Academy. More information on these three providers and the WSQ courses offered can be found in Annex A.

The WSQ programmes offered by these newly appointed training providers are set to deepen the skills-set of our creative talents and raise the professionalism among our local creative professionals. With the addition of these new programmes, more than 80 programmes and over 5,000 training places in the areas of Performing Arts, Arts Management, Arts Education, Technical Theatre, Animation, Games Development, Design, Media, Advertising, Publishing, Printing, Film Classification, IP Management, Architectural Practice and Creative Entrepreneurship, will be available.

Since 2007, over 1,000 professionals have completed training under the CI WSQ.  

 (Contents taken from WDA website, )

 When I left my job a year ago, I was excited to know that there is a professional conversion course in the Creative Industry. All along, I have show interest in this field and the scheme seems a lifeline for me as most of such courses are pretty steep in cost.

However, I was brought down to earth when I find it very difficult  to locate  schools to accept me as a student.

The irony is, they want to see my art portfolio first. So basically, I have to have some art/design work  before I can join a school to learn art/design.

 The thing is if I have adequate  knowledge to build up a portfolio, I will have no need for such a course.

Once that subsidised course route hits a brickwall, I changed my plan to apply for the ‘Train and Place’ scheme.¬†That too failed and except for one school, the rest sadly did not even ¬†return my calls/emails.

The only school that replied me¬†mentioned that the scheme is available to ‚Äúworking professionals‚ÄĚ! (see email below). I always thought that such ‚ÄėTrain and Place‚Äô scheme will mainly benefit the unemployed but sadly its all but a sham.

 Even showing up at a E2I industry preview proved futile as there does not seem to be any follow-up even though I had dutifully filled up all the necessary forms. Maybe they have too many applications and  only reply those who seem the most promising  in returning the  investment. 

So, my final plan now is to find a job, save enough and take up such courses on a part-time basis without  any subsidy from the government.

It is quite¬† frustrating that the WDA subsidised courses in the ‘creativity industry’¬†is¬†mired by¬†so many ¬†rules and regulations.

 I feel it is symptomatic of the problems one faced when he requires assistance for any government schemes. You apply, you are hit with some pre-requisite condition and you get knocked down.

 I am going to put this up in my blog, after I have cleared my head from such insane comical replies or non-replies and try to  forge a new plan without seeking assistance from any government schemes or lies.

¬†After all, putting up with ‘govern-mental’ red tape can really make¬†you ¬†go ‘mental’.

 Warm regards,



Right now, the Professional Certificate Courses are under WDA subsidy. The WDA subsidy will cover 90% of the course fee. However, this subsidy is only applicable to working professionals in the Creative Industries.

Do let me know what time will you be keen to drop by tomorrow? It will be best to avoid the lunch hours from 12noon to 2pm.


Please do not hesitate to e-mail or call me at +65 6334 XXXX  if you have any further enquiries.

Best Regards,


Assistant Producer

FZD School of Design Pte Ltd


If readers have experienced similar frustration  while applying for any WDA or e2i subsidised courses, please email me at . All emails will be treated with the strictest confidence and can be posted leaving out your name РGilbert

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Reader Feedback

18 Responses to “WDA Continuing Education and Training (CET) Course Subsidy A Sham?”

  1. Merlin Sorel says:

    Ein neues Sofa muss her und das am besten schnell, hab schon Angst das es zusammenbricht, wenn ich drauf sitze. Habe eine kleine Ratte ( ja ich wei√ü einige von euch werden sich jetzt denken igitt….) und da die ja bekanntlich auch Krallen haben, m√∂cht ich ein Sofa mit einem robusten Bezug haben. Habe keine Ahnung welche Stoffe besonders strapazierf√§hig sind und hoffe das mir hier jemand weiterhelfen kann.

  2. Stephanie Yeo says:

    Dear Sir

    I’ve been jobless for over a year now since last June 2009 working as a professional marketing consultant. It’s been frustrating finding a job, and more recently, I’ve been ‘cheated’ by a company that failed to pay my salary which is irrecoverable where I took up a job in a completely different industry as a waitress. Unfortunately the company was being terminated for their services in providing staff and resource to a restaurant. I will appreciate if you could advise me how to gain a full subsidy for a skills retraining, perhaps in a completely different industry?

    Warm regards

  3. Denial Tan says:

    Yeap, buddy, the damn thing should be a scam.

    Some of my friends also applied for the train and place program by WDA. They applied for the ICT program which none of them was approved. They were told to go to other spur subsidized or CITREP courses.

    2 of them actually had quite some IT experience. I think the reason that they had been rejected was age(they were late 30s and 40s and above). WDA is very famous for age discrimination. The younger ones were always given priority for job reference.

    The biggest joke about this scam is that the only person that I knew had successful applied for the course is a PR.

    So, please wake up, WDA is set up for foreigner, local Singaporeans, please get lost.

  4. Prabha says:

    Hey…yep i totally agree with u guys. all this wda,cdc spur,e2i,sinda,mendaki are all nonsense. ive been looking for a job for years. and they couldnt find me one till now. and for the courses, yes i gotta to be working. i wanna take some course so tat i could get a job. if i got a job i wun worry abt taking a course. but they juz dun get it or help.they only will help working professional SO WADZ THE POINT? they r not helping or doing justice to the jobless. dun believe in all this government funded courses. all crap. they will be so sweet to u, till u say u r jobless. then tadz it.. u can hear their drastic change in tone. they will say sorry this is only for working professionals. sorry we cant help. HAIYA. PHEW!!! im sick n tired of being a singaporean n unable to get a job. whereas the foreigner get help n do beta in life than me.

  5. Ivan says:

    Dear sir,

    Totally agree with all the guys here,regarding the WDA,CDC,e2i is just all mere commercial use to get professional to upgrade their skills.My main point is what about those who are unemployed and are reluctant for a career change and also want to upgrade themselves in diploma/certification course but have no sufficient funds?I have went through all thoses assistance(CDC,WDA,e2i..etc) for help but to no avail.I call up twice at WDA and one customer service officer told me she is new does not noe any of the apprenticeship scheme,the other officer i called up the sec time told me she is not aware of this scheme ask me how do i come up with this scheme!This is what WDA is doing..putting up advertisement but is a scam. I have even write up to MOM but the customer officer ask me to refer back to WDA.This is totally stupid.Here,I am so eager to start a career in Art/Design/Animation but none of the schools or even WDA,e2i are willing to offer any apprenticeship scheme but instead they suggest us to sign up those so called WSQ diploma/certificate course.If i really got the ability or funds to go studies,why should i approach WDA for help? Right now i am really losing confidence as it seems like nobody in this country can assist me into the creative industries of Art/Design/Animation.

  6. You actually know your information… Continue the fantastic work!

  7. tom lau says:

    Hi Officer-In-Charge,

    I obtained Diploma in Retail Management from University of Stirling UK, and have 20 years of retail experienced.

    I would like to check with you the following courses organised University of Stirling co-work with local school or organisation is it fully supported by WDA:-

    SIM Global – Master of Honour in Retail Management
    SRA- MBA in Retail Managament

    Tom Lau
    Mobile 90086804

  8. jj@39 says:

    Retail jobs in S;pore usually don’t pay well & the working hours is non-office hours. Many youngsters stay away from retail jobs.

    NYP used to conduct specialist diploma & diploma in retail mgmt courses but it seems like they have stopped conducting it due to low intake. I don’t see it on their website anymore. It could be a risky thing to invest money & time taking up these retail diploma & degree courses for employability.

  9. John soh says:

    Unemployment rate in Singapore is 2%. Do you know why?
    It is because some people just are not aware of their own short comings.
    Recently I came across some news that e2i conducts subsidized Class 3 and Class 4 driving programs (trainees only pay 10%). Naturally, those who succeeded in getting a slot were happy and those who did not would call it a sham.

    My friend from CDC tells me a lot of her encounters with very demanding, ridiculous and unrealistic job seekers. I guess I am see many of them here.

    • David says:

      I am advice my CDC officer that my wife & I have some saving & so we cannot get any financial assistance.

      So what they did is to ask us to go to the same counter in CDC & ask for employment assistance.

      Next we meet up the WDA Career Consultant at the same CDC for employment assistance.

      The WDA Career Consultant can only recommend me a 1 year contract position at MOF with the salary of less then $2000 when my last drawn salary is more then $2500 because WDA are cater more for blue collar position & advice to go look for caliberlink which is more cater to ‘white’ collar.

      Please take note that it is recommend & not interview arrangement. It is the same as recruitment agency recommend the candidate to their client & does not confirm a job or interview.

      My question is am I demanding, ridiculous and unrealistic job seeker when I request to have a job at least match my last drawn salary instead of taking a pay cut of more then $500.

    • jj@39 says:

      I never believe unemployment rate in Singapore is only 2%.

      I also went to the subsidized Class 3 and Class 4 driving programs (trainees only pay 10%). There are certain T&C for you to follow. e2i won’t just let you take up w/o any T&C.

      I do believe there are very demanding, ridiculous and unrealistic job seekers but I have visited those jobfairs organised by wda, e2i, cdc, caliberlink many times. Many of the jobs are those low wage, long working hours jobs. I am also one of the NYP specialist diploma in retail graduates. I have worked n the retail line before.

      John, don’t just listen to your cdc friend. You go try out those retail assistant, kitchen helper, security guard or warehouse assistant jobs. You will know what is call low wage, long working hours jobs.

    • jj@39 says:

      I went to the subsidized Class 3 and Class 4 driving programs (trainees only pay 10%) preview at Bedok central in July. I didn’t get accepted for the subsidized Class 3 programme by the e2i officers. Although I felt disappointed but I left w/o creating any problem.

      There are certain T&C for you to follow. You are expected to pass & obtain the license at your first driving assessment. You also have to sign an agreement that after obtaining the license, the job you get must involve driving. If not, you have to pay back everything as compensation.

      Next to the Class 3 and Class 4 driving programs preview scene is a logistics & transportation job fair. E2i & WDA actually want you to become a driver or delivery man after obtaining the license.

      What is the salary, working hours & working condition for bus drivers & delivery man? I leave it to you to find out.

  10. Johson-australia says:

    Well you can demand all you want and if you don’t take offer someone else will. You have to lower your expectations and take what you can. In CDC even if you can’t get financial assistance you are allowed to apply for job assistance. At times there are jobs but demanding people won’t take them, what’s a 20% paycut? I rather have a job then none. Please be more realistic in your expectations.

    • Anon says:

      I bet if salary scales for blue-collar & menial jobs in S’pore are the same as that in Australia, then many S’poreans will gladly take it up.

      Johnson, many of the same menial jobs you’re doing in Oz will only pay you S$5/hour in S’pore. What is the pay rate you’re getting over there?

      At the same time, for many of these menial jobs, bosses in S’pore will demand you work for 10+ hours, work on weekends and public holidays at the same S$5/hr rate, stand on your feet for 9-12 hrs a day. Does Australia’s labour laws even allow any one of the above??

      S’pore govt, PAP and MOM are all OK with the above.

  11. Johson-australia says:

    True but nonthereless a job is better than none. I mean we all have families to feed and bills to pay thus a decent job or the next best offer is essential. Would it be logical to say too low so I don’t want to work? At times in life, in order to survive, we need to do and take what we can.

    • ivan says:

      I agree with john. if circumstance doesn’t allow, then grab something you can, better than none..

  12. CatCat says:

    Hi guys, I went to WDA website, got the same feeling and found this page.

    I have a colleague in her early 20s… she is a nice girl from PRC, had a Master in Comp Science from NUS but she doesn’t even know how to ping a domain name to get an IP address.. (no offense, she is a humble girl), but what disappoint me is that why did she get the opportunity to study a Master Program when so many of us (with experience in IT) has to have an employer to support us to get scholarship for WDA? My boss is a Malaysian, my two colleagues are from Vietnam and PRC. All three were from NUS. The one from Vietnam is still studying in NUS have no track record but is given the chance to study in Singapore. Is something worth looking? I believe many of us welcome them. I have no issues, they are nice people, my own love one is a foreigner but why do the local have so much red tapes? We are not asking for jobs, we are asking for SIMILAR financial support (Note: my DBS further study loan got declined =)

  13. Wei Sheng says:

    I had seen WDA website. Other then subsidy for locals to upgrade, our tax monies we contributed also goes to upgrade foreigners. Why should the monies be save up and spent more on locals than spending on foreigner?
    Currently, garment also sponsor foreigners to study in local U. These sponsorship to foreigner should be reduce and use to help more locals instead. I not against any foreigner. But now many locals ready need upgrading funding much more.

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