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Survey of Employer-Provided Training

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the provision of formal training vary by the size of an establishment?

Larger establishments are more likely than smaller ones to provide formal training to their employees Only 69 percent of small establishments (fewer than 50 employees) provided formal training in 1993 compared with nearly all medium-sized (50-249 employees) and large (250 or more employees) establishments.

What other factors besides size affect the likelihood of providing formal training?

While size seems to be a very important factor, other characteristics of the establishment are also associated with formal training even after controlling for the influence of size.

Establishments that offer benefits such as employee assistance programs, pension plans, employee wellness programs and profit sharing are more likely to provide training than are other establishments.

This finding supports the idea that establishments that foster a long-term commitment between the firm and the employee have a greater incentive to train workers.

Establishments that employ a number of workpractices such as just-in-time inventories, worker teams, total quality management, quality circles, peer review of employee performance, pay for knowledge, employee involvement in technology and purchase decisions, and job rotation are more likely to provide formal training than are similar establishments that do not employ as many of these practices.

The strong association between work practices and the provision of formal training supports the idea that “high performance” workplaces—those that use many of the practices listed—are more likely to provide training to their employees.

Are unionized establishments more or less likely to provide formal training to their employees?

During 1993, unionized establishments were more likely to offer certain types of formal training than were nonunionized establishments. The presence of a union had a substantial effect on apprenticeship training: while the probability that the representative small, medium-sized, and large establishment offered apprenticeship training was 14 percent, 40 percent and 41 percent respectively, the otherwise identical unionized establishments had probabilities of 33 percent, 58 percent, and 54 percent. Unioniza tion, however, did not have a statistically significant impact on the provision of formal job skills training, especially in medium-sized and large establishments.

Of the various types of formal training covered in the survey, which types are most commonly provided?

Nearly half of all establishments provided formal job skills training in 1993, while orientation, safety and health, and workplace-related training were provided by 1 in 3 establishments. Less than 3 percent of all establishments offered formal training in basic reading, writing, arithmetic and English language skills, although 19 percent of large establishments offered such training.

Which job skills are most commonly taught through formal training?

The three types of job skills most commonly taught through formal training were sales and customer relations, management skills, and computer skills. While about 1 in 4 establishments provided training in these areas, 1 in 12 provided formal training in food, cleaning, protective, and personal services.

Why do employers provide formal job skills training?

The most common reason establishments gave for providing formal job skills training in 1993 was that training was necessary to provide skills specific to their organization (75 percent). Other important reasons for providing formal job skills training were to keep up with changes in technology or production methods and to retain valuable employees; each of these reasons was cited by more than half of those providing formal job skills training.

Why do employers decide not to provide formal job skills training?

Nearly two-thirds of establishments that did not provide formal job skills training in 1993 reported that 'on-the-job' training satisfied their training needs. Less than 10 percent reported that the cost of formal training was too high or that they were unwilling to provide formal training due to a fear of losing trained employees to other employers.


Last Modified Date: April 30, 2010