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ERIC Number: ED519541
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2003-Apr
Pages: 21
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-0-6623-5553-9
Training while Unemployed. Final Report
Human Resources Development Canada
The recent publication of "Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians" highlights the importance of human capital as a means of improving the economic well-being of Canadians. This monitoring report looks at a subset of the issues in the document with a focus on the participation in training while unemployed. The report looks at: (1) The range of training undertaken by the unemployed, including types of training and time spent in training; (2) The characteristics of the unemployed who take training (e.g., gender, age, region and factors relevant to job search); and (3) The opinions of the unemployed concerning the perceived value of the training taken. The report uses data from the Canadian Out-of-Employment Panel (COEP) survey of individuals with a job separation between the fourth quarter of 2000 and the third quarter of 2001. A primary finding of this monitoring report is that a significant portion of the unemployed, 12.2 percent, participate in some form of training while unemployed. The courses taken by the unemployed vary widely in time commitment and type. Although the median number of hours spent on a course per week was 16, and the course lasted 6 weeks, half of the unemployed who took training were in courses that required between 7 and 30 hours a week. Similarly, half of the unemployed who took training were on courses that lasted between 2 and 12 weeks. Of the eight course types, three types made up 80 percent of the participation: trade vocational courses (32.3 percent), courses provided by post-secondary institutions (16.4 percent) and the "other" category (31.9 percent). Other types of courses included job search techniques (10.8 percent) and computer training (11.3 percent). All the major categories of unemployed participate in training to some degree, although there is considerable variation among some groups: (1) By demographic categories, females and youths are slightly more likely to take training than average. Among the HRDC equity groups (i.e., females, aboriginals, visible minorities and persons with disabilities), all but persons with disabilities have slightly more than average likelihood of taking training while unemployed; (2) Education appears to be a key factor, as university graduates are much more likely to take training than those who did not complete high school; (3) Location is also a factor. Those in rural areas are three percentage points less likely to take training. The unemployed in British Columbia are seven percentage points more likely to take training than those in Atlantic Canada; and (4) Those who receive EI or have been unemployed for a longer time are more likely to take training. Training is perceived as being useful in improving job prospects in 76 percent of the cases. However, there is a significant variation in the responses among types of training: (1) Virtually none of the unemployed who took courses to improve their reading and writing or numerical ability found the courses helpful in improving job prospects; (2) A substantial portion found the job search and computer courses useful; and (3) Highly specialized courses that were placed in the "other" category were found to be the most useful followed by trade vocational courses and post-secondary courses. The COEP Data Set is appended. (Contains 9 tables.)
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. Service Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0J9, Canada. Tel: 800-926-9105; Fax: 613-941-1827; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Human Resources Development Canada
Identifiers - Location: Canada