IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Retraining displaced workers : what can developing countries learn from OECD nations?


  • Leigh, Duane E.


The governments of most industrial countries provide financial support for adult training programs intended to retrain displaced workers. The author draws lessons from the experience of six industrial countries (Australia, Britain, Canada, Japan, Sweden, and the United States) on how to design and implement such retraining programs in low-income developing nations and middle-income countries. By retraining, the author means both improving job skills and remediating deficiencies in basic education. These are the lessons he emphasizes: Training programs should be independent of the educational system, with its rigid ties to degree requirements and academic schedules; links to employers must be developed and maintained so that trainees have marketable skills on completing the program. Training programs should be designed to minimize trainees'foregone earnings; basic education should be relevant to the jobs the trainees might seek. External providers of education must be made accountable - but with care; the system of accountability should also ensure that the needs of displaced workers most likely to suffer long-term unemployment are met. Not all displaced workers require relatively expansive retraining; some may need only inexpensive job-search assistance services. A permanent, institutionalized training system is preferable to short-term intervention.

Suggested Citation

  • Leigh, Duane E., 1992. "Retraining displaced workers : what can developing countries learn from OECD nations?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 946, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:946

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Anders Björklund, 1990. "Evaluations of Swedish labor market policy," Finnish Economic Papers, Finnish Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 3-13, Spring.
    2. Howard S. Bloom, 1990. "Back to Work: Testing Reemployment Services for Displaced Workers," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number btw, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


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

    Cited by:

    1. Dar, Amit & Gill, Indermit S, 1998. "Evaluating Retraining Programs in OECD Countries: Lessons Learned," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 13(1), pages 79-101, February.
    2. Bach, Henning & Datta Gupta, Nabanita & Høgelund, Jan, 2007. "Employment Effects of Educational Measures for Work-Injured People," IZA Discussion Papers 2657, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:946. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.