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

  • Leigh, Duane E.
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    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.

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    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 946.

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    Date of creation: 31 Aug 1992
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    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:946
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    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, June.
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