At today’s Cabinet meeting Premier Lin Chuan listened to a Ministry of Education (MOE) report promoting its youth education and employment savings account project.
The project is designed to help young people reach their potential based on aptitude and capabilities, offering incentives to encourage senior high school graduates to first gain experience in the workplace or participate in international activities before deciding whether to pursue higher education, seek formal employment or start a business. This should help bridge the gap between academic studies and practical applications, and foster all-round competitiveness among young people.
According to the MOE, the project will be launched in August of 2017 for a three-year trial run, with 5,000 senior high school graduates selected to take part annually. In addition to receiving guidance on career planning, they will also have opportunities to take on international volunteer work or go to rural areas to provide social services. Such social experiences should help these students better understand their goals in life when they return to school.
Under the program, complementary measures will also be available to help resolve other issues that participants may face such as pursuing tertiary education, retaining student status, suspension of studies, credit transfers and military service. Young people participating in the program will receive a monthly subsidy of NT$10,000 (US$318). If they participate for all three years, they would thus receive a total of NT$360,000 (US$11,436).
The MOE expects 15,000 students to receive subsidies from a projected total program budget of NT$7.2 billion (US$228.7 million), including NT$2.7 billion (US$85.8 million) disbursed by the MOE for schooling, employment and business launches, and outlays of NT$4.5 billion (US$142.9 million) by the Ministry of Labor to fund youth employment and employers who hire students as apprentices.