The Ultimate Guide to Levelling Up Your AWS Cloud Skills with CITREP+ Funding Support
CITREP+ Funding Support is a program by the Singaporean government to assist entry-level and mid-career IT professionals enhance their ICT skills.
This article will equip you with a broad understanding of CITREP+ Funding Support and how Bespoke Training can help you take advantage of Government funding support. We’ll run you through how Funding Support can assist you to gain AWS Cloud certification, who is eligible, and how the application process works.
Alright, let’s get started.
- What is CITREP+
- How Can I Benefit From CITREP+?
- Claiming Conditions
- The Claim Process and where Bespoke Training Comes in
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is CITREP+ Funding Support
CITREP+ stands for Critical Infocomm Technology Resource Programme Plus.
It has been designed to help both entry-level and mid-career professionals acquire or increase their ICT skills. This assistance comes in the form of funding support, which can be as much as 70-90% of the total cost of the course.
Before we go too deep, let’s take a look at the problem CITREP+ was created to address; the cloud skills gap.
The Cloud Skills Gap
Globally there is a big difference between current levels of cloud integration and people with the skills to use it. According to research carried out by Global Knowledge, 70% IT decision makers reported their teams have a skills gap. Another 62% of IT decision makers also reported that this lack of skills increases stress on employees.
To put it mildly, most countries are suffering from a severe gap in cloud skills. Singapore is no different.
Research carried out by IDG in partnership with AWS, revealed the skills gap is hampering the progress of cloud deployments for 45% of businesses in Singapore. A further 74% of organisations in Singapore said talent development was ‘critical’ to future growth. Of all the businesses surveyed in this research, only 15% considered their employees ‘completely prepared’ for cloud adoption.
Taking Advantage of the Cloud Skills Gap
What all this means for individuals is that cloud skills are in high demand. By equipping yourself with technical cloud skills and experience you become more valuable to your organisation while simultaneously increasing your earning potential.
CITREP+ is part of the Singaporean Government’s response to this gap in cloud skills. By training a core of local ICT professionals, the program aims to set Singapore up as a ‘Smart Nation’.
Let’s look at what we mean by the term ‘Smart Nation’ to give a little more context to CITREP+.
What’s a Smart Nation?
A Smart Nation is one where people and businesses are empowered through increased access and understanding of technology. This includes:
- Better access to data
- Encouraging collaboration to develop innovative ideas and solutions
- Anticipating the needs of citizens and using technology to better serve those needs
Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy consists of three pillars: Digital Economy, Digital Government and Digital Society.
Pillar One: a Digital Economy
All over the globe we are witnessing first hand how digitasion is disrupting and altering industries. Companies like Uber and AirBnB have forever redefined the rules of their respective industries. Their competitors have been forced to catch up or risk becoming obsolete.
Examples like this are why it is critical to adapt to and embrace digitalisation. However, this can only occur through a skilled workforce and the presence of technology savvy businesses.
Singapore aims to attract these skilled workers and businesses through a pro-business environment, excellent infrastructure, connectivity to major Asian economies and investment in new technology. It’s part of a vision to build a vibrant economy that attracts foreign investments while providing great opportunities for Singaporeans.
Pillar Two: a Digital Government
The Singaporean government has set itself the challenge of being ‘digital to the core’ and ‘serving with heart’. As well as raising the government’s digital capabilities this involves transforming the way citizens and businesses are served with technology.
These changes include integrating services around citizen and business needs, strengthening integration between policy, operations and technology, and pursuing innovation and collaboration with citizens and businesses.
Pillar Three: a Digital Society
Digital inclusion is about ensuring all Singaporeans have access to technology. This includes equipping Singaporeans with the knowledge and skills to competently use it.
Training empowers Singaporeans to take full advantage of these exciting new technologies. Not only will this improve quality of life, it also increases the chances of succeeding in an increasingly digital world.
Where CITREP+ Funding Support Comes in
CITREP+ links to all three pillars of Singapore’s Smart Nation strategy. Like we mentioned earlier, CITREP+ exists to close the cloud skill gap. In doing this it helps both individuals upskill – leading to increased employability and salary – and helps Singapore future-proof its workforce and economy.
CITREP+ falls under IMDA’s TechSkills Accelerator (TeSA) initiative. It exists to support Singapore’s ICT workforce keep pace with technology shifts, through continuous and proactive training.
IMDA has collaborated with training partners to develop and offer technology focused professional development courses. This includes professional certifications like Architecting on AWS, Advanced Architecting on AWS and Systems Operations on AWS.
How Can I Benefit From CITREP+ Funding Support?
CITREP+ funding support provides up to 70-90% rebate for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents on eligible training.
There is no limit on the amount of CITREP+ claims you can make. Just ensure you complete the training and certification and submit your claim within the allocated time period.
How Do I Apply For CITREP+ Funding Support?
Unfortunately, you can’t apply for CITREP+ directly. Instead you need to register with Bespoke Training (or another authorised training partner). You’ll also need to complete a simple screening interview, required by IMDA .
For organisation-sponsored trainees, the claim application will be submitted by the sponsoring organisation. For self-sponsored trainees, the claim application has to be completed by the individual. More on both of these a little later.
CITREP+ works on a reimbursement model. Individuals or organisations have to pay the cost of the course upfront. You can then claim your reimbursement once the training and certification has been completed. Your claim will need to be submitted within 3 months of achieving certifcation.
You will need to complete the course and pass all certification examinations within 12 months of the course start date. You must also attend at least 75% of the training and achieve the final certification status.
Am I Eligible for CITREP+ Funding Support?
To be eligible for CITREP+ you must be a Singapore citizen or Permanent Resident at the time of training.
After this things get a little bit more complex since eligibility is dependent on an individual’s circumstances. Things like age, whether you are a student or whether you are self-sponsored or organisation-sponsored all influence eligibility.
CITREP+ Funding Support Eligibility for Organisation-Sponsored Trainees
To be eligible for CITREP+ as an organisation-sponsored trainee you must:
- Meet the admission criteria set by Bespoke Training and AWS
- Choose a sponsoring organisation that is incorporated or registered in Singapore
- Ensure your SME organisation meets SME status
- Complete the CITREP+ ‘Company Declaration of SME Status for Funding Support’ form
- Not be an employee of a local Government agency
- Be a Singapore citizen (for applicants 40 years or older)
CITREP+ Funding Support Eligibility for Self-Sponsored Trainees
To be eligible for CITREP+ as a self-sponsored trainee you must:
- Meet the admission criteria set by Bespoke Training and AWS
- Be a Singapore citizen (for applicants 40 years or older)
- Be a Singapore citizen aged 17 to 25 years old (for students or NSF)
- Produce a letter of support and proof of matriculation from the PSEIs of Singapore or Produce relevant PSEI graduation certifications (for students)
- Produce proof of National Service enlistment / ORD stat (for full time NSF)
The Claim Process and where Bespoke Training Comes in
Here’s a quick overview of the claim process:
- Contact Bespoke Training to confirm you are eligible for the selected AWS Cloud training program. You will also need to complete a simple screening interview that is required by IMDA.
- Bespoke will send you a Student Pack via email.
- Complete and return the forms to Bespoke Training, along with your ID (proof of citizenship or residency).
- Create an account at InfoComm. This requires a SingPass or CorpPass so you’ll need to register first if you don’t already have one.
- Bespoke Training will submit student details into ICMS for approval. We will then email you a Letter of Offer and a Tax Invoice.
- Sign and return the Letter of Offer to Bespoke Training via email.
- Pay the invoice via your preferred method.
- Bespoke Training will email you a Booking Confirmation with the course details.
- Attend and complete the training and examination.
- Bespoke Training will email you a copy of your signed Letter of Offer, paid Tax Invoice and proof of attendance.
- Download the Certificate of Participation & Exam Certificate from AWS.
- Upload the relevant documents to ICMS (the items listed in steps 10 and 11).
- ICMS will process your refund.
For an easy to use diagram that explains this process you can download our Guide to CITREP+ Funding Support.
CITREP+ in 2020
Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, Singapore is expected to enter an economic recession in 2020. However, the Singaporean government has reaffirmed its commitment to empowering citizens to upskill in cloud technologies.
Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat announced:
“Our Promise to workers is this: as long as you are willing to pick up new skills and adapt, to accept available opportunities to work or learn, the government will provide our strongest support to help you”
IMDA Approved AWS Cloud Courses
Bespoke Training has collaborated with AWS and IMDA to lead the approval, and renewal, of CITREP+ endorsed AWS Cloud training. Our endorsed programs are all based on the AWS role based learning paths. They have been designed to help you achieve certification by bundling relevant training and certification together.
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate: AWS Technical Essentials (In-Person Classroom training, 1 day), Architecting on AWS (Classroom, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – Solutions Architect Associate (Virtual, ½ day)
- AWS Certified Developer – Associate: AWS Technical Essentials (Classroom, 1 day), Developing on AWS (In-Person Classroom training, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – Developing Associate (Virtual, ½ day)
- AWS Certified SysOps Administrator– Associate: AWS Technical Essentials (In-Person Classroom training, 1 day), Systems Operations on AWS (Classroom, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – System Operator Associate (Virtual, ½ day)
- AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Professional: Advanced Architecting on AWS (In-Person Classroom training, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – Solutions Architect Professional (Virtual, 1 day)
- AWS Certified DevOps Engineer – Professional: DevOps Engineering on AWS (In-Person Classroom training, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – DevOps Engineer Professional (Virtual, 1 day)
- AWS Certified Big Data – Specialist: Big Data on AWS (In-Person Classroom training, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – AWS Certified Big Data Speciality (Virtual, 1 day)
- AWS Certified Security – Specialist: Security Engineering on AWS (In-Person Classroom training, 3 day), AWS Certification Exam Readiness Workshop – DAWS Certified Security Speciality (Virtual, 1 day)
Frequently Asked Questions
Before wrapping up, we thought we would go over some questions you might have about CITREP+ Funding Support. These questions will act as a summary of the blog, refreshing the key points you need to know.
- How much can I claim?: CITREP+ provides up to 70-90% funding support for Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents on eligible training. Your age and whether you are self-sponsored or organisation-sponsored impact the rebate you can claim.
- Do I pay the difference between the cost of training/certification and CITREP+ funding?: CITREP+ works on a reimbursement model so you will need to pay the full amount upfront. You can claim your funding support once your training and certification is complete. Make sure you submit the claim within 3 months of completing the examination.
- Can I still claim SkillsFuture training?: Yes, you certainly can. SkillsFuture training is a separate initiative.
- Is there a cap on the number of CITREP+ funding claims I can apply for?: No, there isn’t. You can make as many claims as you like. Just ensure you complete the relevant training/certification, and submit your claim within the allocated time period.
- Is this training suitable for me?: That really depends on your level of cloud experience, the training you’ve completed to date, and your career goals. We can provide guidance on the various training paths to help you figure out which one best suits your circumstances.
- How do I register for CITREP+?: You can’t apply for CITREP+ directly. You need to register via an authorised training provider like Bespoke Training. You will also need to complete a simple screening interview, required by IMDA .
The Next Step
Want to find out more? Still have questions? Download our Guide to CITREP+ Funding Support ebook.
*This article is correct as of 10/06/2020.For full information on CITREP+ eligibility, please visit www.imtalent.sg/citrep