research into vocational training, as performed here, is still rather underdeveloped.
In addition to their urge for further research into the causes of disadvantages
on the labour market, with special reference to the accessibility of labour
market programmes for particular target groups, Nicaise and Bollens (1998)
point out that the question ‘why’ something is effective has been little
addressed and needs specific attention. From a policy point of view this
is an important question if not the most important question. It at the
same time often is one of the more difficult questions to answer.
(Brandsma 1999, p. 22).
following issues for further research about the effectiveness of labour
market oriented training for the long-term unemployed are raised:
'creaming' or selection at enrolment
does enhance bot the output and the outcome. More selective training organisations
seem to have less dropouts and more trainees getting into a job. Togehter
with the earlier addressed issue of accessibility, this raises the question
of what ahppens to those unemployed that are not admitted to the course.
What are their chances on getting training and/or finding employment?
for the least qualified
training is needed to bring back the least qualified up to the level of
skills with which they stand a chance on the labour market? In order to
be able to answer such a question, first a basic understanding is needed
of the size and structure of the group of least qualified. In this respect
it does seem to make a difference whether it concerns those unemployed
due to major econmic restructuring (decline in particular economic sectors),
due to obsoleteness of skills or due to an overall lack of education and
training (or insufficient quality of the education and training received).
Such differentiations could be helpful, if not important, in setting out
training strategies and designing particular training programmes.
made design of training programmes
made design is not necessarily individualised training. As can be concluded
from this study, individualised training is not by definition the best
way to choose. Apparently the social aspect of training can be important
as well. Tailor made in this respect means tailored towards the needs and
characteristics of different types of unemployed. Or in other words, different
training models for different target groups. However, given the present
state of the art in our knowledge what might work and what might not, it
might need quite some ‘experimentation’ to find out which design is most
suitable for a particular target group.
macro effects of training
the micro level of the individual unemployed, training does seem to pay
of. The question however is, what does the economy or society benefit from
the investments in this training? Overall it is presumed that investment
in training from an economic point of view is a good investment. Many policy
documents link economic competitiveness and training to each other. The
question is whether and to what extent such a link can be made for training
of unemployed as well. Of course one can presume that if training gets
unemployed back into work this will save on benefits. But from a policy
point of view it would be logical to try to measure the size of such effects
as well as effects in terms of possible changes in productivity, economic
growth or the general health situation (Brandsma
1999, pp. 28f.).