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Older workers and employer-provided training in the Netherlands: a vignette study

Fleischmann, M; Koster, F; (2018) Older workers and employer-provided training in the Netherlands: a vignette study. Ageing and Society , 38 (10) pp. 1995-2018. 10.1017/S0144686X17000356. Green open access

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Abstract

Older workers throughout Europe are increasingly expected to participate longer in the labour market. While training appears to increase workers’ employability, prior research indicates that employers are less prone to provide training with increasing age of the workers. In this study, we aim to provide a better understanding of what affects employers’ considerations. We conduct a vignette experiment among Dutch employers to investigate how the government and workers themselves can exert influence on employers’ willingness to provide training. Our analyses show that employers’ provision of training declines with workers’ age, and additionally reveal two mitigating mechanisms. First, government reimbursements appear to work as a buffer: when reimbursements are offered, the decline in employers’ willingness to offer training is less pronounced throughout workers’ careers. Second, workers’ interest in training has a delaying effect: when workers are interested in training, employers’ willingness to provide training remains rather stable until workers are aged about 55, and decreases only afterwards. This contrasts the constant decline with age when workers had no interest in training. Our findings emphasise that employers’ considerations cannot be understood without taking the context into account, because governments and workers can affect employers’ decisions through cost reduction and social exchange relations, respectively. More research is needed to disentangle other possible underlying mechanisms.

Type: Article
Title: Older workers and employer-provided training in the Netherlands: a vignette study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0144686X17000356
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X17000356
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2017. This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Employer-provided training, employability, older workers, vignette study
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Pop Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Epidemiology and Public Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1549833
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