Training for employed people: the need for expansion and improvement

Andreu Lope, Autonomous University of Barcelona

The scarcity of resources, excessive concentration of training schemes in certain sectors and lack of participation by social agents are hindering the efficiency of training for employed people, which seemingly does not prepare workers sufficiently for the changes ahead in the employment sphere.
Key points
  • 1
       The training of employees is essential if workers are to maintain their competitiveness and adapt to changes in the field of production.
  • 2
       Investment in training for employed workers has fallen to 50% of levels prior to the economic crisis.
  • 3
       Continual training for employed workers is concentrated among large-sized companies and benefits employees with higher prior qualifications.
Falling investment in training for employed people
Falling investment in training for employed people

Training employed people is a vital element for improving their employability and adapting their skills to changes at work and to the requirements of companies. In the long term, investing in the training of employees leads to an increase in companies’ productivity and competitiveness.

However, the reduction in budgets allocated to this type of training has limited its influence to a large extent. The budget for training for employed people grew progressively up to 1,545 million euros in 2010. After very severe cuts in 2012 (when it was cut back to 951 million euros), the slight increases of subsequent years have not enabled recovery of the amounts prior to 2012: in 2015 the budget reached 1,069 million euros.

As we can see in Figure, cutbacks have not occurred so much in the continual training offered by the companies or that of public employees, but have essentially been directed at the training offered by Spain’s government or its autonomous communities, so-called “supply-based training”.

What type of continual training is offered and who benefits from it?

The economic crisis has also affected the type of continual training that companies offer. Although the number of participants in training programmes has increased slightly, the courses offered are increasingly of a shorter duration. Continual training, furthermore, is taught fundamentally at large-sized companies (with coverage rates higher than 80% in the year 2016), while it is much less frequently found at small companies, whose coverage rate does not even reach 20%, a percentage that has fallen even further in recent years. In general, better-qualified employees with a higher prior education level receive more continual training.

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Andreu Lope , Autonomous University of Barcelona

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