SINGAPORE: A particular SkillsFuture course was mocked online this week, as netizens in Singapore expressed scorn for a course that offers lessons in Perform(ing) Basic Cleaning of Washrooms.

8world reported that over 500 individuals signed up for the course just in 2023, adding that SkillsFuture offers 64 courses related to washroom cleaning. A Mothership search, meanwhile, similarly turned up “more than 40 such courses.”

On the SkillsFuture website itself, one Basic Cleaning of Washrooms course has gotten 29 ratings, with an average of 4 out of 5 stars. The page for the course also says that 1,162 people have attended it.

Screengrab/MySkillsFuture.gov.sg

The course says that attendees will learn how to: Prepare for work activities, Remove dust, debris, soilage, spillage from sanitary fixtures and fitings, toilet wall partitions and toilet floor, Clean Toilet Floor, Clean Toilet wall / partition and surfaces with high user contact, Replenish consumables items in sanitary area and Reinstate work area.

Interest in SkillsFuture courses is likely to have been piqued after Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong announced during the Feb 16 National Budget rollout that part of the S$1.3 billion Enterprise Support Package (ESP) would be an extension to SkillsFuture Enterprise Credit. Singaporeans over the age of 40 will receive a top-up in SkillsFuture credits of S$4,000 in May of this year.

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The toilet cleaning courses are by no means cheap, with some ranging between S$500 and S$600. This means that after SkillsFuture funding, most people interested in enrolling in the course still need to pay at least S$200.

The courses have been mocked online, with netizens questioning the need for them as well as the significant amount of money enrollees still need to pay in order to acquire skills that may just need little more than common sense and diligence.

Screengrab/Facebook SDP Fan Club

The authorities, however, have defended the course, saying that they are necessary for professionalizing the cleaning industry.

In a Feb 22 joint statement in answer to questions from todayonline.com, SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) and the National Environment Agency (NEA), said, “Through practical training, participants will learn effective cleaning methods, the proper use of cleaning agents, and adherence to safety protocols.

Successful completion of the course enhances participants’ proficiency in basic cleaning techniques, contributing significantly to their professional development within the cleaning industry.”

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The course has been a required one for licensed cleaning businesses since the end of 2022. Furthermore, it is a module under the Progressive Wage Model whereby cleaners may earn better salaries depending on the amount of training they receive. /TISG

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