Amazon's interesting experiment

On Amazon's homepage today we find this an announcement about incentives that turns working in positions that require low amounts of human capital and might not otherwise advance a person's career path such as a job in customer service into a way to acquire significantly more useful human capital:

So, for people who've been with us as little as three years, we're offering to pre-pay 95% of the cost of courses such as aircraft mechanics, computer-aided design, machine tool technologies, medical lab technologies, nursing, and many other fields.
The program is unusual. Unlike traditional tuition reimbursement programs, we exclusively fund education only in areas that are well-paying and in high demand according to sources like the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and we fund those areas regardless of whether those skills are relevant to a career at Amazon.

This makes a lot of sense. Amazon gets good employees for at least 3 years + the amount of time they are in school part time. At the end of that time period, their employees will be able to acquire significant human capital to increase their pay down the road. Making the employe pay for 5% of the cost means that only people who put some value in the education will sign up for it. It doesn't look like the United States will move towards an apprenticed based education system model like Germany anytime soon, but approaches like Amazon's are the next best thing.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.