This analysis aims to address some of these contextual gaps in our understanding by examining the relationship between job-related training and wellbeing and how this relationship is impacted by gender, age and region of residence. We ask the following questions:
Are adult learners gaining wellbeing benefits from job-related training?
Are the wellbeing gains greater for some groups compared to others?
Are the wellbeing gains from training the same for adult learners across the four nations of the UK?
Wellbeing benefits of job-related training
Job-related training improves the wellbeing of workers…
As we would expect, job-related training aims to help workers do their job better (or indeed, find a new job which suits them better) – which in turn increases job satisfaction. This increase in job satisfaction improves people’s overall satisfaction with life [Note that there are no increases in life satisfaction over and above the increases in job satisfaction.]
How much do we gain? It’s an increase, but not a huge one. The increase in job satisfaction caused by job-related training is comparable to the increase gained from a 1% increase in hourly wages.
…but there are differences across regions and groups.
This wellbeing increase is greater in London’s most deprived areas compared to the less deprived areas.
In these deprived areas, the difference in job satisfaction for those who take part in job-related training compared to those who do not is much greater than the UK average. In fact, it’s equivalent to differences between sectors. For example, the additional wellbeing associated with being in the health and social services sector compared to the accommodation and food sector in London [note that this incorporates other factors and is the difference only due to different sectors].
Job-related training may not be meeting the needs of older workers. Younger workers are more likely to gain wellbeing benefits from job-related training than older workers.
Job-related training delivers wellbeing benefits for both men and women compared with those that receive no job-related training, but there are gender differences. Longer training periods only deliver wellbeing benefits for men, and generate almost no wellbeing gain for women. This deserves further scrutiny. Why does training with longer duration fail to improve job satisfaction for women? What is it about longer workplace training which means it is less helpful for increasing women’s job satisfaction?
This research shows us where the differences are, but doesn’t give us all the underlying reasons. Further work could unpick what is causing these differences, including opportunities for promotion, regional differences in industry, and skill profile. Further work could look at the patterns for different ethnic groups, as well as people with long-term illness or disabled people.