This study is supported by a grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Access to data for this paper was received through a Statistics Canada Research Data Centre, although the opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of Statistics Canada.
Declining versus participating in employer-supported training in Canada*
Article first published online: 30 OCT 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
International Journal of Training and Development
Volume 15, Issue 4, pages 271–289, December 2011
How to Cite
Cooke, G. B., Chowhan, J. and Brown, T. (2011), Declining versus participating in employer-supported training in Canada. International Journal of Training and Development, 15: 271–289. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2419.2011.00386.x
- Issue published online: 21 NOV 2011
- Article first published online: 30 OCT 2011
Although employer-supported training may be beneficial to all stakeholders, some workers have difficulty accessing it, and a surprising number of workers decline some or all of it when it is offered. We present a conceptual model that uses four categories to define workers according to whether or not they are excluded from, participate in and/or decline training. Our aim is to examine the characteristics of workers in each category in order to better inform public policy. The study utilizes the Statistics Canada's 2005 Workplace and Employee Survey data set. We found that 44 percent of workers were ‘excluded’, in that they did not participate in nor decline employer-supported training. A further 47 percent took all the training offered to them (i.e. are ‘takers’), whereas 3 percent were ‘decliners’ because they declined all of the offered training. Finally, the remaining 6 percent are ‘choosers’ because they both took and declined some employer-supported training. Thus, 9 percent of Canadian workers declined some employer-supported training in 2005. This was 16 percent of those who were offered training. Consistent with existing literature and dual labour market theory, our descriptive and multivariate regression results indicate that individuals exhibiting the characteristics of ‘primary’ workers are more likely to access and are also more likely to decline training than their ‘secondary’ counterparts. Considering the importance of training, these results have significant social and policy implications.