http://www.cereq.fr/var/plain_site/storage/images/publications/training-and-employment/training-older-workers-a-policy-in-need-of-updating/24080-1-fre-FR/Training-older-workers-a-policy-in-need-of-updating_large.pngChristine Fournier, Training and Employment, n°92, 2011. Training older workers to keep them in work? The idea is very much in vogue. Nevertheless, concentrating efforts on older workers is not necessarily a panacea. After all, age merely reinforces the strong link between access to training and level of qualification. The less well-qualified workers are, the more important it is to intervene early in order to improve access to training. Age 50, or even 45, has proved to be much too late for many. Download Training & Employment 92.
Training older workers to keep them in work? The idea is very much in vogue. Nevertheless, concentrating efforts on older workers is not necessarily a panacea. After all, age merely reinforces the strong link between access to training and level of qualification. The less well-qualified workers are, the more important it is to intervene early in order to improve access to training. Age 50, or even 45, has proved to be much too late for many.Of all the measures aimed at making individual career trajectories more secure, training comes high up the list. If its impact is not to remain a pious hope, training has to be made into a genuine tool giving workers access to promotion or retraining or simply enabling them to remain in the labour market. This requires modes of training delivery capable of fulfilling these objectives throughout individuals’ working life, particularly for the least well-qualified, who find it more difficult than others to stay in the race.How does age currently affect access to training and the type of training received?
In 2006, 44% of employees received training of some kind. However, this average figure conceals many disparities, including those linked to age: the rate of access to training decreases with age, moving gradually from 51% for the under-30s to 28% for the over-60s...
Training programmes for the unemployed are significantly longer in duration than those for the employed. Would it not be possible to consider putting in place more substantial training programmes for those in employment, and well before age 50 for the least well qualified, rather than waiting for individuals to become unemployed? In 2003 and again in 2009, during the debates that took place prior to the votes on the 2004 and 2009 Continuing Training Acts, the social partners suggested that a right to ‘deferred training’ should be introduced for all those who had left school early. Is it time once again to discuss a possible measure that would provide more training during the working life for those who received least in their youth? This of course raises a fundamental question: who would pay the bill? No matter what happens, we need to develop training as a means of keeping workers, particularly older workers, in employment. It is not enough simply to increase rates of access. We also need to rethink the characteristics of the training provided so that the programmes on offer truly meet the demands made of them.