Training in Europe

Publication type

Research Paper

Series Number



Discussion Paper


Publication date

November 1, 2003


We establish some stylised facts about the extent and determinants of work-related training in European Union (EU) countries, and show how these differ across men and women, using the first six waves of the European Community Household Panel (ECHP), a large-scale comparative survey collected annually since 1994. We investigate gender differences within and across EU countries in training participation, using decomposition analysis. We focus on: access to 'lifelong learning', fixed-term contracts, public / private sector affiliation, educational attainment, the individual's position in the wage distribution prior to training and part-time versus full-time work. We find that, overall, women are no less likely than men to undertake training and considerably more likely to train in four countries. The differing effects of characteristics and 'returns' can explain the gaps. There is no significant training-age profile for women and a strong negative profile for men. In several countries there is a negative association between fixed-term contacts and training, particularly for men. In most countries and for both sexes, training is positively associated with public sector employment, high educational attainment and a high position in the wage distribution.

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