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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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3 Investments in the Training of an Ageing Labour Force


Further training has become an essential component in workers’ human capital (Brunello, 2001) as it contributes to economic performance and growth (Bassanini et al. 2005; Picchio & van Ours, 2011). Rapid changes in technology, the gradually shift of Germany towards becoming a service economy and the ageing of the German labour force has led to the creation of new jobs and aroused the need for high-qualified workers (OECD, 2012a) able to cope with high levels of competitiveness and employment. Countries which are characterized with low fertility rate, as Germany, are in a much greater need for trained workers due to constant decline in available skilled workers (OECD, 2005a). Thus, overcoming the shortages of highly qualified workers by raising the investment in the human capital of all workers will play a central role in the future.

Having a future labour force constructed mostly of older workers may raise questions regarding their level of skills. Investing in their training constitutes an essential tool for improving their educational level, a better adaptation to new work requirements, prevention of skill obsolescence (OECD, 2012a), improve employability (D’Addio et al. 2010) and preventing them leaving the labour market early (Fouarge & Schils, 2009). Of particular interest are older low-skilled and industrial workers who represent the main target group for recent pension and labour market policies, as they are the most affected by early retirement institutions. This would require a greater effort from policy planners to enable the upgrading of low-skilled older workers...

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