To read this content please select one of the options below:


The Sociology of Job Training

ISBN: 978-0-76230-886-6, eISBN: 978-1-84950-156-9

Publication date: 16 October 2003


Contemporary labor economics has a ready explanation for the role of job training in the labor market. The human capital framework pioneered by Becker (1962, 1993) and Mincer (1962) and now extended by many, many others sees training as an investment in productive capacity that benefits both workers and employers. Employers enhance the productivity of their firms by investing in the skills of their workers, and these productivity gains are passed on to workers in the form of higher wages. Key to all of this is the distinction between general and specific skill. According to the theory, employers will not pay for or provide general skills (i.e. those that are transferable and hence valuable to other employers), because they are averse to being “poached” by more high-wage employers. They will, however, invest in workplace-specific skills, which assure them a return on their training investments.


Bills, D.B. (2003), "INTRODUCTION: THE SOCIOLOGY OF JOB TRAINING", Bills, D.B. (Ed.) The Sociology of Job Training (Research in the Sociology of Work, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. IX-XVII.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2003, Emerald Group Publishing Limited