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VAC to expand vocational training for veterans

2017/10/19 12:34:39

Taipei, Oct. 19 (CNA) The Veterans Affairs Council (VAC), which is responsible for taking care of retired military personnel, will expand on-the-job training services for military personnel to improve their lives after retirement at a time when the government is pushing for reforms in the military, VAC Minister Lee Hsiang-jow (李翔宙) said Thursday.

A planned pension reform for military veterans has sparked concern among retired military personnel, since the government aims to cut entitlements to bring the country's pension fund back from the brink of bankruptcy.

In an interview with the CNA, Lee said the VAC remains devoted to taking good care of retired military personnel.

Lee said after he assumed the position as head of the VAC last year, he has studied military personnel retirement mechanisms and pension systems in various countries, including the United States, Australia, France, Japan and China, in a bid to provide better services to military veterans.

The VAC, Lee said, will help military veterans land jobs after retirement by expanding vocational training during their service in the military.

In the past, the VAC provided only 71 on-the-job training courses to military personnel each year. Lee said the number of future vocational training courses will be expanded to 500 in 2018, with each course expected to last for no less than 72 hours.

Lee said the training courses will focus on areas such as tourism, technology, information security and even long-term care services, to make it easier for retired military personnel to get into the job market.

With Taiwan's society aging rapidly, the country needs many workers in long-term care services, Lee said, so the VAC is scheduled to open its first long-term care training course in mid-November.

During the initial phase, the course will enroll 30 students.

Lee said that retired military personnel are expected to receive training in long term care services so that they can enter the industry smoothly after retirement.

For military personnel who want to go back to campus after retirement, Lee said, the VAC will also provide help for them.

As for the minimum pension payout under the planned pension reform for military veterans, Lee said he will seek a minimum monthly payout of NT$40,000 (US$1,324), which will exceed the minimum payout of NT$32,160 for civil servants and teachers.

Under the pension reform, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) has said the government aims to encourage military personnel to stay in their jobs for longer to receive higher pensions based on seniority.

Lee said that as long as the government is able to take good care of military veterans, he expects more and more people will be willing to sign up for military service.

(By Liu Li-jung, Yeh Su-ping and Frances Huang)