Job satisfaction is no luxury: it is an integral part of human resource policy and considerably affects productivity. But because of certain sectoral specificities, the relationship between job satisfaction and training varies significantly across sectors.
These specificities may relate to factors such as working practices in the sector, the principal forms of technology deployed in the production process, and social and cultural norms. These may all affect the relationship between worker and employer in any given sector, which has implications for the relationship between job satisfaction and training.
The latest in Cedefop's series of studies on the benefits of vocational education and training discusses how this factor varies among sectors and contains evidence of spillover effects among workplaces within a sector in industrial clusters. Such clusters usually develop around high value-added activities, which require firms to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce. To do so, firms have to adopt advanced human resource practices. When individual firms are not able to sustain the high level of training necessary, firms must cooperate and pool resources. Just such joint training efforts make it less likely that trained workers will join other firms.
The case studies collected in this report also show that public investment in training, catering to the specific needs of these high value-added firms, can be very effective in inducing firms and stakeholders to work together, generating high spillover effects across entire industrial clusters.
The evidence collected by Cedefop argues for integrating VET in regional and sectoral growth strategies. Training institutions may then act as catalysts for the further development of industrial clusters. Smart growth in Europe would directly benefit from such integrated economic policies.
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