TOKYO — Japan will expand financial assistance for adults looking to gain new skills as part of its efforts to encourage recurrent education and reform human resource development.
Under the assistance program for specialized education and training, workers who lose their jobs are eligible for subsidies that cover 40% of class fees at designated educational institutions, or 60% of all tuition if they obtain certification, as part of their employment insurance. Starting next year, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will increase its support to 50% and 70%, respectively. Funds will come from the special account for labor insurance.
The ministry will also include classes from four-year vocational schools as well as two- or three-year programs known as vocational junior colleges, which are new types of educational institutions the education ministry hopes to allow to open in fiscal 2019. Vocational colleges are higher-education institutions separate from traditional colleges that provide hands-on learning for certain occupations. These schools aim to develop talent for the information technology field and other industries.
For the separate subsidy program for general education and training, the labor ministry is considering expanding eligible courses and raising the assistance rate, which currently stands at 20%, among other improvements. Details will be discussed through next summer.