The Yomiuri ShimbunThe government plans to boost support from next fiscal year for acquiring new skills through e-learning, for women who quit their jobs to have children or company employees who are busy with work during the day.
This measure is part of the work style reforms that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Cabinet has been promoting as one of its priority policies. The government intends to reduce the burden for people who face difficulty in going to school due to caring for children or working during daytime hours, and promote their re-employment or career progression.
For the fiscal 2017 budget, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry allocated ¥21 billion for the Training and Education Benefits System, increasing it from the ¥14.5 billion earmarked this fiscal year. Under the system, when a person completes a training course designated by the health, labor and welfare minister, a part of the course fee is subsidized.
Currently, up to 60 percent of the fee is subsidized, with the upper limit set at a total of ¥1.44 million over three years. The ceiling will be raised to up to 70 percent with an upper limit of ¥1.68 million over three years.
For women who quit their jobs to have children, the period of eligibility for the benefits system will be extended from the current period of within four years of quitting their job to within 10 years. The government also aims to double the number of courses eligible for the benefit from the current number of about 2,500 courses.
To receive the benefits, people are currently required to take the courses by going to a physical school, in order to prevent illegal claims. However, the government will also make full e-learning courses, in which people learn via personal computer and the internet without going to school, candidates for designation. The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry will also seek proposals regarding courses for learning new skills for adults, including e-learning courses, and other proposals from vocational schools.
The ministry allocated a total of ¥100 million in the fiscal 2017 budget for a fund to commission 10 courses. Courses the ministry considers effective will be disseminated by being introduced at other vocational schools.Speech