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Further Training for Older Workers: A Solution for an Ageing Labour Force?

Hilal Zboralski-Avidan

Due to changes in retirement and employment policies the participation of older workers in the German labour force has been increasing in the recent decade. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), the book examines developments in the training participation patterns of older workers. The author gives special attention to the relations between the rate of training participation and the level of job satisfaction. The findings indicate an increase in training participation, particularly of workers aged 55–59, and imply a positive correlation between the rate of training and job satisfaction.

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6 Human Capital Investments in a Shrinking Labour Force: How Do Older Workers Fit in?

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This chapter investigates the development in the participation of older workers in professional training courses in Germany. In particular, I examine whether a noticeable increase in their likelihood of receiving training can be recognized over the years of the SOEP survey. The initial prediction of the human capital theory is that older workers are less likely to participate in training programs due to the associated lower net returns both for the company and for the worker (Becker, 1993). However, as the employment period of older workers nowadays is extended given the effect of policies, such prediction might not be relevant. Taken together, this chapter tests the hypothesis that the participation of older German workers in professional training courses increases nowadays as their time in employment becomes longer157. In order to analyse the training participation of older workers, I first follow the development in the share of older workers over the years of the SOEP sample. I then distinguish between three indicators – gender, educational attainment and occupational group – all of which are assumed to have significant influence on the labour force participation of older workers. It allows me to construct a theo- retical base which could explain part of the alterations in the training incidence of older workers. The chapter continues by a thorough descriptive investigation of the participation of older workers in professional training courses, which is further examined by a multivariate analysis. 157 As it will be explained later (section 6.2), the current study assumes that develop- ments in...

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