What’s happening in workplace learning?

French labour market researchers at the CEGOS Observatory have just released their annual survey of training in Europe. It involves a reasonable size sample (2,470 workers in six countries) and the findings suggest that participation is holding up reasonably well in the recession, though the authors speak of ‘a French and Spanish sickness’. They also confirm the integration of new technologies and social media into workplace learning is increasing apace, and that those who are already highly educated continue to receive the most training.

So far as Britain is concerned, the findings broadly support those who argue that our workplace learning system is comparatively strong. Workers in Britain were most likely to:

  • report participation in distance learning and blended learning
  • receive information about training from their manager
  • say that they have benefited from training.

They were least likely to claim that training had been imposed on them, though not by much. In Italy, 38% said they generally had training imposed on them by their employer, as against 35% in Germany, 32% in France and 31% in Britain. Even though most workers said that they were able to suggest training activities for themselves, the survey finds that more training results from employer instructions than from dialogue and negotiation. This is more surprising for countries like France and Germany, where work councils are well established, than it is in Britain, whose labour market is less tightly regulated.

A summary of the CEGOS findings can be downloaded at: http://www.cegos.fr/actualites/Pages/enquete-formation-professionnelle-en-europe-2013.aspx