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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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7 Job Satisfaction of Older Workers: Does Participation in Professional Training Courses Make a Difference?


Improving productivity level of older workers through enhanced training is an important target for policy makers in Germany (OECD, 2005a). As shown in the previous chapter, the training incidence of workers aged 55–59 was significantly increased in Germany between 2000 and 2008. Such data should reduce con- cerns regarding the ability of older workers to contribute to economic growth. However, another concern to cope with is increased labour force participation of under-represented groups of older workers e.g. blue-collars, which results main- ly due to a reduction of early retirement options. While studies indicate a high implementation of early retirement schemes by unsatisfied workers (Hanisch & Hulin, 1991; Schulte, 2005), the requirement of longer employment nowadays could therefore increase the rate of low job-satisfied older workers. This leads to the assumption that an ageing labour force may also be a less satisfied one. As job satisfaction is found to be positively correlated with both produc- tivity (Clark et al. 1996; Appelbaum et al. 2005) and the willingness to stay in employment (Clark et al. 1996, 1998; Gazioglu & Tansel, 2002; Schulte, 2005), an unsatisfied ageing labour force may pose an economic problem as these as- pects constitute two of the main targets for policy makers in Germany nowa- days (OECD, 2005a). If one could imagine a scenario in which older workers are “captured” in an unsatisfied, low paid, hard job for longer periods – what would encourage them to keep on working in a beneficial manner, for them as individu- als but also...

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