Would the companies choose which students to sponsor? And at the end, does the student have to go work for that company? The exploratory year is a great idea, and studying towards a job is how guilds worked for centuries (it's a proven model). But the idea to have to work for a precise company, even if you don't like that company, makes me think this idea will face resistance from the students, and rightly so. Also, if companies chose students, we can imagine that the larger/richer companies get the "brightest" students, thereby limiting the chances for smaller companies to grow big as well. It would skew the war on talent towards larger firms, no? What if firms had to form "learning guilds" of sorts, pooling resources to sponsor education and building curricula which would be relevant across industry value chains, for example?