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Number 04 (29.08.2002)
Subject PARTICIPA: A need for sustainable employability
Project outline
Contribution Aim

This research project aims to study and understand one of the most important key mechanisms for social integration: technical workers’ participation in continuing vocational education and training. Knowing and understanding the factors which influence technical workers’ participation in CVET will allow to develop and implement adequate and effective strategies for increasing the technical workers’ employability which is a relevant characteristic to combat social exclusion.
The present study will contribute to:

  • understanding the influence and role of the individual’s characteristics, the external factors on participation in CVET programmes and the technical workers’ motivation and attitude towards participation in these programmes;
  • preparing managers and technical workers to expand employees’ responsibility and autonomy on their activities and functions;
  • developing policies and strategies to improve technical workers’ participation in CVET, aiming to combat and prevent exclusion and promote sustainable regional development in European regions;
  • helping practitioners to design and implement effective CVET programmes directed to technical workers’ needs and interests;
  • helping technical workers and unemployed people to increase their employability;
  • helping leaders of organisations to design adequate strategies, including labour training, to face changes and the increasing competition of the market;
  • designing and implementing human resource development policies aiming to increase competitiveness of European regions and industrial SMEs.


This study is essentially designed to identify and analyse the factors associated with technical workers’ participation in CVET activities and to understand how they influence technical workers’ decision to participate in these activities. The target groups of the study will be technical workers employed in different enterprises of selected activity sectors.
    The study will use a cross sectional survey approach complemented by a set of case studies to further understand the participation factors. The participating European regions include Alentejo and Centro in Portugal, Extremadura in Spain, Bremen in Germany, Roma in Italy, Patras in Greece, and Warwick in the UK. Although comparisons will be made among these regions, the study will be conducted under a collaborative research approach. That is, the six research partners will look at and analyse data from the six regions with the goal of understanding why things are happening in a certain way in any of the six regions. To reach this goal, research coordinators will be permanently in touch by internet. In addition, five research meetings will be organised to discuss emergent issues and to adjust research strategies.


The following PARTICIPA activities have already been done:

  • a literature search to update the current state of the art on factors associated with technical workers' participation in CVET;
  • a workshop in Évora (Portugal) to examine national and European studies and to reassess and eventually adjust the research approach;
  • designing and testing the instrument for collecting data: conceptual definition of the variables; operationalisation of the variables through multi-item scaling; evaluation of content validity of each multi-item scale by a panel of judges (content experts); pre-testing the instrument and estimation of the multi-item scale reliability and other validities;
  • a questionnaire survey amongst a sample of workers in each participating European region.
Contributor Eduardo Figueira
Coordinator of PARTICIPA
Reference Info on PARTICIPA
Descriptors D-CVT            
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Editor: Sabine Manning  © WIFO