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 “Creative Industries Apprenticeship” 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 http://app2.wda.gov.sg/web/Contents/Contents.aspx?Yr=2010&ContId=1120, )
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 “working professionals”! (see email below). I always thought that such ‘Train and Place’ 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’.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org . All emails will be treated with the strictest confidence and can be posted leaving out your name – Gilbert