6

In this future not everyone has to work, the goverment provides a basic income. If you want to work, you need to go to university, as low level, manual labour is provided by robots.

However, before the goverment decides whether to fund your further education, you have to work for one year in some simple job, just to see if you are really willing to work.

It was a book, and unfortunately I dont know how old it is, but I read it in the last 5 years.

4

There is a little local color of this kind in The Expanse universe by James S.A. Corey (AKA Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), but it is not a main plot point.

The martian marine Bobby Drapper learns a bit about it while on Earth during Caliban's War (the second novel in the series).

If this represens the right answer you may also recall:

  • A nearly unstoppable alien attacker wiping out Bobby's unit in the early pages of the book.
  • Bobby having to overcome a degree of agrophobia on first venturing out of doors shortly before the conversation in which she learns about the pre-university work stints.
  • Bobby getting herself picked up as an aide to a senior Earth politician a situation which puts her place in the Martian military in jeopardy.
  • Bobby manning the gunnery console on the Rocinante when they fight off a group of Earth naval vessels with the help of some units of the Martian Navy.
  • Never occurred to me to mention that this was not the main plot. Next time I will, thanks. – András May 4 '16 at 6:13

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