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Returns To Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Training: Does Training Raise Wages and Employability?

Returns To Singapore Workforce Skills Qualifications (WSQ) Training: Does Training Raise Wages and Employability?

The Singapore Workforce Skills Qualification (WSQ) is a national credential system that trains, develops,assesses and certifies skills and competencies for the Singapore workforce. WSQ offers bite-sized training modules, at the end of which a Statement of Attainment (SOA) is awarded. Trainees can also accumulate relevant SOAs to achieve a WSQ full qualification. Given the importance of WSQ training in developing the skills and competencies of the Singapore workforce, this study investigates the benefits to individuals who participated in WSQ training by examining their wage and employability outcomes in the year after training.

Our findings suggest that there are positive wage returns to attaining WSQ SOAs and full qualifications, with higher returns found for the attainment of full qualifications. Specifically, we find that SOA trainees enjoyed real wages that were 0.8 per cent higher on average in the year after training compared to their control group, while WSQ full qualification trainees experienced a real wage premium of 5.8 per cent on average in the year after training.

SOA and full qualification trainees who were non-employed in the year of training were also more likely to be employed in the following year. On average, individuals who were non-employed and received an SOA between 2011 and 2014 were 3.5 percentage-points (pp) more likely than their control group to be employed in the year after training. Similarly, non-employed full qualification trainees were 2.6pp more likely than their control group to be employed in the year after training.

The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ministry of Trade and Industry, SkillsFuture Singapore, or the Government of Singapore.

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