THE RETURNS TO CONTINUING VOCATIONAL TRAINING FOR EMPLOYEES IN QUEBEC, CANADA
Laval University (CANADA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 5th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2011
Location: Valencia, Spain
Abstract:Since the 1980’s, almost all developed countries became aware of the importance of training for both employees and enterprises. Governments established training programs and enterprises were required to allocate a percentage of their wage bill for training expenditures. In Québec-Canada, the Act to Foster the Development of Labour Force Skills (Training Act) which was passed in 1995, was intended to improve the qualifications, skills and performance of workers through Continuing Vocational Training (CVT). The purpose of this Act was to turn vocational training into a strategic tool for increasing long term performance (Bernier, 1999; Charest, 1999). The Act to Foster the Development of Labour Force Skills was modified on June 8th 2007. It now bares the name Act to Foster the Development and the Recognition of Labour Force Skills. If the first version of this Act required firms with wage bills above $250 000 to devote 1% of their labour costs to expenses linked to the training of its employees, the new law concerning competencies only applies to firms with a wage bill above $1 000 000.
The resulting exponential increase of money invested in training programs since the first version of the Act (1995) has inspired studies to assess the returns of this training investment in organizations (Kirkpatrick, 1998; Eseryl, 2002, CEDEFOP, 2005; Gosselin, 2006). However, rare are studies that examine the impacts of in-house vocational training on employees. Existing studies of vocational training on employees were often restricted to assessing the salary benefits associated with attending vocational training and the analysis of the “well-known triplet,” training-productivity-wage. However, for the workers, the performance of CVT can be observed at several levels.
The purpose of this paper is precisely to assess the effect of attending in-house vocational training on the income, career prospects and personal and social development of employees from three complementary perspectives. Our study is based on qualitative research performed in the Québec Region in Canada involving about 103 corporations and 817 employees. The results presented here are from a study conducted in 2004 concerning returns of CVT in the scope of the “Training Act”.