Participation in Industrial Training

Participation in Industrial Training Programs*

Sheldon E. Haber

ABSTRACT. Two questions suggested by the recent literature on the matching of workers and firms are examined. The first relates to differences in the proportion of workers that participate in industrial training programs in large and small firms. The second relates to the characteristics of workers who participate in such programs. The major finding of this study is that workers in large firms are more likely to participate in industrial training programs than similar workers in small firms; the large-smaU firm training program participation rate differential is less, however, among low productivity workers than among high productivity workers. Additionally, workers with vocational training received outside of a work setting are just as likely to find employment in small firms as in large ones.

I. Introduction
Training programs outside of work, principally in the form of vocational training, have been the subject of many studies, but only recently has attention been directed at industrial training. Little is known about who participates in industrial training and even less is known about who provides this form of training. Based on their analysis of Current Population Survey and National Longitudinal Survey data, Lillard and Tan (1986) suggest there is a complementarity between formal schooling and participation in a company training program, but they do not consider the relationship between this form of training and firm size. In separate studies of American and Canadian firms, Barron, Black, and Lowenstein (1984) and Simpson (1984), respectively, found that training programs

are more prevalent among large firms than small ones. In the former study prevalency is based, in part, on the probability of a firm's most recently hired worker receiving formal training by management; in the latter study prevalency is measured by the duration, in months, of industrial nonapprenticeship training...