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


  • Ardiana N. Gashi
  • Geoff Pugh
  • Nick Adnett


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Ardiana N. Gashi & Geoff Pugh & Nick Adnett, 2010. "Technological change and employer-provided training: evidence from UK workplaces," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(4), pages 426-448, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eme:ijmpps:v:31:y:2010:i:4:p:426-448

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. John S. Heywood & Uwe Jirjahn & Annika Pfister, 2017. "Product Market Competition and Employer Provided Training in Germany," Research Papers in Economics 2017-07, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    2. G. Guidetti & G. Pedrini, 2015. "Systemic flexibility and human capital development: the relationship between non-standard employment and workplace training," Working Papers wp1019, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    3. 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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