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Technological change and employer-provided training: evidence from UK workplaces

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Author Info

  • Ardiana N. Gashi
  • Geoff Pugh
  • Nick Adnett

Abstract

Purpose – This paper sets out to examine the link between technological change and continuing training at a workplace level. Design/methodology/approach – The paper hypothesises that workplaces subject to technological change have an increased demand for skills, which induces an increased provision of training. UK data from two waves (1998 and 2004) of the Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS) are used to investigate this hypothesis. Findings – Workplaces undertaking technological change are more likely to train their workers and also to provide more days of training per worker. Team working is also associated with a greater number of days spent on training, as are the setting of training targets and the keeping of training records. Training intensity decreases with an increasing share of part-time and manual employees. Conversely, where workplaces face difficulties in filling skilled vacancies, they provide more days of training. Research limitations/implications – The WERS training questions refer only to core experienced employees which, since this group may vary from one workplace to another, may not give a completely consistent measure of either absolute or relative training provision. Because the WERS panel (1998 and 2004) excludes both the dependent variable (training intensity) and the variable of interest (technical change), the analysis is restricted to cross-section estimation. Causal implications of this analysis should be regarded as correspondingly tentative. Practical implications – The findings suggest that one way to induce firms to provide more training is by enhanced incentives for firms to undertake more rapid technological change. In addition, if the current global economic downturn persists, evidence that operating in a declining market is associated with the provision of fewer training days may be of particular concern to training professionals and policy makers. Originality/value – The paper provides empirical evidence concerning the interaction between technological change and training.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal International Journal of Manpower.

Volume (Year): 31 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ( July)
Pages: 426-448

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Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:4:p:426-448

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Web page: http://www.emeraldinsight.com

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Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK
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Web: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/ijm.htm

Related research

Keywords: Change management; Skills; Training; United Kingdom; Workplace;

References

References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Katz, Eliakim & Ziderman, Adrian, 1990. "Investment in General Training: The Role of Information and Labour Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 100(403), pages 1147-58, December.
  2. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2002. "Work-Related Training and the New National Minimum Wage in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 595, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Edward P. Lazear, 2003. "Firm-Specific Human Capital: A Skill-Weights Approach," NBER Working Papers 9679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Brunello, Giorgio & Gambarotto, Francesca, 2004. "Agglomeration Effects on Employer-Provided Training: Evidence from the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 1055, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-08 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Addison, John T. & Belfield, Clive R., 2008. "Unions, Training, and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 3294, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Acemoglu, D. & Pischke, J.S., 1997. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Working papers 97-24, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  8. Stephen Machin & John Van Reenen, 1998. "Technology And Changes In Skill Structure: Evidence From Seven Oecd Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(4), pages 1215-1244, November.
  9. John M. Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Julia Lane & Kevin L. McKinney & Kristin Sandusky, 2007. "Technology and the Demand for Skill:An Analysis of Within and Between Firm Differences," NBER Working Papers 13043, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alison L. Booth & Marco Francesconi & Gylfi Zoega, 2003. "Unions, work-related training, and wages: Evidence for British men," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(1), pages 68-91, October.
  11. Zwick, Thomas, 2002. "Continuous Training and Firm Productivity in Germany," ZEW Discussion Papers 02-50, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  12. Almeida-Santos, Filipe & Mumford, Karen A., 2004. "Employee Training and Wage Compression in Britain," IZA Discussion Papers 1197, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. O'Mahony, Mary & Robinson, Catherine & Vecchi, Michela, 2008. "The impact of ICT on the demand for skilled labour: A cross-country comparison," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1435-1450, December.
  14. Acemoglu, Daron & Pischke, Jorn-Steffen, 1999. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labour Markets," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(453), pages F112-42, February.
  15. Andrew Jenkins & Alison Wolf, 2004. "Regional Variations in Adult Learning and Vocational Training: Evidence from NCDS and WERS 98," CEE Discussion Papers 0037, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
  16. repec:iab:iabzaf:v:40:i:4:p:361-381 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  18. Edwin Leuven, 2005. "The Economics of Private Sector Training: A Survey of the Literature," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(1), pages 91-111, 02.
  19. repec:ese:iserwp:2003-23 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Arulampalam, Wiji & Booth, Alison L. & Bryan, Mark L., 2003. "Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 933, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Bassanini, Andrea & Booth, Alison L. & Brunello, Giorgio & De Paola, Maria & Leuven, Edwin, 2005. "Workplace Training in Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Art of Labormetrics," NBER Working Papers 6927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chi-Cheng Chang, 2013. "Bridging Competence and Curriculum for Complex Change," Diversity, Technology, and Innovation for Operational Competitiveness: Proceedings of the 2013 International Conference on Technology Innovation and Industrial Management, ToKnowPress.

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