Low levels of participation in vocational training

Vocational training in Romania varies widely between sectors and according to company size. A survey published by Romania’s National Institute of Statistics found that the national rate of participation in vocational training was 17.8% in 2010, but this ranged from 54.7% in the financial and insurance sector to just 7.2% in construction. In companies with 250 or more employees, 28.4% of workers took part in professional training, compared to only 5.9% in the smallest companies.

About the survey

Romania’s National Institute of Statistics (INS) conducted a survey of companies, taking 2010 as the reference year, and in December 2012 published a report, Characteristics of professional training in Romanian enterprises in 2010, based on the data gathered.

The main purpose of the survey was to obtain quantitative and qualitative data about continuous vocational training programmes planned by companies and the size and characteristics of such programmes. It also sought to discover the extent of the initial vocational training provided by companies.

Continuous vocational training is defined as a set of measures or training activities provided by companies to their employees and financed by them in whole or in part, and which are delivered to people already in work who have obtained a qualification either in the national education system or on the job.

The survey covered all companies with 10 or more employees, irrespective of ownership or legal status. The data were collected between April and June 2010, using questionnaires which the respondents completed and returned to an online portal. The sample consisted of 9,426 companies, and the survey was structured as a multi- layer poll by single random choice.

Main findings

In 2010, vocational training programmes provided by companies in Romania were attended by 17.8% of all employees, and there were no significant differences in participation between men and women (18% of male workers, and 17.6% of female workers). There were, however, wider gaps between economic sectors (as defined in NACE Rev.2) and between companies of different sizes.

Participation in vocational training by sector

Analysed by sector, the study shows that participation in vocational training is most common in financial insurance services (54.7% of employees), followed by the production and supply of electric and thermal power, gas, water and air conditioning (41.8%) and the mining industry (23.1%). Table 1 gives a full breakdown by sector of vocational training participation.

Table 1: Vocational training participation in Romania (% of workers in each sector)
Sector

Total

Men

Women

Mining industry

23.1

20.3

38.9

Manufacturing industry

19.8

23.2

16.2

Production and supply of electricity, heating, gas, water, and air conditioning

41.8

42.0

38.3

Construction

7.2

7.2

7.3

Commerce

14.7

14.1

15.3

Transport and warehousing

20.5

22.9

14.4

Hotels and restaurants

7.5

8.0

7.2

Information and communications

19.5

20.2

18.6

Financial intermediation and insurance

54.7

49.8

56.7

Real estate transactions

11.4

13.0

9.3

Professional, scientific, and technical activities

18.5

17.7

19.5

Other services

4.9

5.5

4.3

Participation rates for national labour force

17.8

18

17.6

Source: INS (2012), Characteristics of professional training in Romanian enterprises.

The lowest global participation rates were found among employees in the ‘other services’ category (4.9%), construction (7.2%), and hotels and restaurants (7.5%).

The differences between sectors may be explained by the reasons given by companies responding to the survey questionnaire for not organising vocational training courses. More than 60% of companies in manufacturing, construction, hotels and restaurants, and the other services category said that the current qualifications, aptitudes, and competences of their personnel were adequate for their employers’ needs. Just over 64% of companies in the same four sectors said they preferred to choose personnel from candidates who already had the qualifications, aptitudes, and competences needed.

Company size

Compared to the national average of 17.8%, participation in continuous vocational training in 2010 was more than three times lower than that in companies with between 10 and 49 employees (5.9%) (Table 2).

Table 2: Participation in vocational training by company size (%)
Company size

Total

Men

Women

10–49 employees

5.9

6.3

5.4

50–249 employees

11.0

11.1

10.8

250 employees and over

28.4

28.6

28.2

Participation rates for national labour force

17.8%

18

17.6

Source: INS (2012), Characteristics of professional training in Romanian enterprises.

Companies with 250 or more employees had the highest participation rates (24.8%).

Variations between training rates are influenced both by the number of employees a company has and the training costs involved. In 2010, the distribution of continuous vocational training costs was extremely uneven, with 83% of the total costs going to large companies (250 or more employees), and only 5.1% to small companies (10 to 49 employees).

Commentary

Companies’ attitudes towards vocational training are partly explained by the possibility of hiring personnel who already have the qualifications, aptitudes and competences needed, given the high rate of unemployment in Romania among young people who have completed secondary and tertiary levels of education. However, another factor is the lack of financial resources. In 2010, only 24% of the Romanian companies surveyed provided training for their employees and the resources they allocated to training were very limited, an average of 0.5% of their total annual labour costs that year.

Reference

National Institute of Statistics (2012), Characteristics of professional training in Romanian enterprises, INS, Bucharest.

Luminita Chivu, Institute of National Economy, Romanian Academy

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