Workers in an office at computers.
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Employees in Sweden could take up to a year off paid to learn new skills. Credit: Pontus Lundahl/TT
Employment Minister Ylva Johansson speaking at the presentation of the proposal.
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Employment Minister Ylva Johansson says the proposal could help develop important skill sets. Credit: Pontus Lundahl/TT

Proposal: paid sabbaticals for studying

2:03 min

Employees could take up to a year off to develop new skills, a government-led investigation has recommended.

The proposal would require employees to create a plan for their time off that would be approved by the Swedish Public Employment Agency (Arbetsformedlingen).

Employees would need to do something during their time away - either study, learn a new skill, work a different job or start their own company.

Employment Minister Ylva Johansson welcomed the proposal, saying the opportunity could help develop employees' skill sets.

But Niklas Beckman, a senior legal adviser at the Swedish Confederation of Enterprise, the nation's main business association, says the money can be better spent helping to get the long-term unemployed and newly arrived immigrants into jobs.

And the leader of the main opposition party, Ulf Kristersson of the Moderates, says people should be encouraged to work, not be "on leave living on benefits".


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