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ERIC Number: ED478432
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002-Sep
Pages: 34
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Skills Training Works: Examining the Evidence.
Smith, Whitney; Wittner, Jenny; Spence, Robin; Van Kleunen, Andy
The federal policy shift from skills training and toward work first strategies has come about, in part, from a misconception that "training does not work." A more comprehensive look at existing research reveals the documented effectiveness of skills training. A growing number of studies have shown skills training can increase earnings; improve access to employer-paid benefits; and increase steady work. In addition, a closer reading of the often-referenced major evaluations reveals they documented effective outcomes for training, but those results have been overlooked. The evaluations have identified numerous programs in which pre-employment training significantly improved employment outcomes for low-income adults. Such results have often been missed or misinterpreted because occupational training was not distinguished from other types of education; the most successful programs made substantial use of training, but that fact was overshadowed by their additional emphasis on employment; and the evaluations did not focus on individual effective practices. To create more effective welfare and workforce development policies, policymakers should acknowledge outcome studies other than government-sponsored national evaluations; sponsor national evaluations focusing specifically on occupational skills training; consult or sponsor new "effective practice" studies focusing on individual model programs; and talk to local experts from the field. (Appendixes include descriptions of studies featured in the paper and 39 endnotes.) (YLB)
For full text: eport.pdf.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore, MD.
Authoring Institution: N/A