Économie et Statistique n° 388-389 - 2005Training-Employment (II): Training and Quality of Employment
Job insecurity and continuous training: implications for career paths
Training during working life (continuous training) is likely to improve job security and increase the stability of professional career paths characterised by uncertainty and unemployment. Such training encourages knowledge acquisition and transfer whilst enabling workers to adapt to the needs of businesses. The career paths of workers most exposed to job insecurity from 1997 to 2000 can be divided into seven categories, ranging from those dominated by unemployment to those characterised by employment flexibility (e.g. fixed term and temporary contracts). Such an approach aims to facilitate a better understanding of job insecurity, as opposed to one that simply considers a particular professional situation at a given moment. All things being equal, people with such career paths have fewer opportunities than others (i.e. «stable» salaried employees) to access training. The generally lengthy duration of such training seems initially to compensate for this disadvantage, and is also a feature of courses more likely to lead to a qualification. This largely positive statement masks deep inequalities amongst those affected by job insecurity. Only people in work placements, subsidised contracts and temporary jobs in the civil service have access to training opportunities similar to those available within stable employment situations. Lengthy training courses are associated with unemployment and are chiefly State-financed, whilst flexible employment tends to facilitate access to short term job-related training courses. As such, those facing job insecurity have less chance to access training financed by their employer than those in stable employment, and few opportunities to gain a qualification via State-financed training.