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Explaining lower educated workers' training intentions

Jos Sanders (TNO Work and Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)
Shirley Oomens (ITS, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Roland W.B. Blonk (TNO Work and Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands, and Department of Social Sciences, University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands)
Astrid Hazelzet (TNO Work and Employment, Hoofddorp, The Netherlands)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 9 August 2011




The purpose of this study is to contribute to the discussion on how to increase lower educated workers' participation in training programs inside and outside the workplace through stimulating intentions with respect to training.


This article is based on data from the Study on Life Long Learning and Employment by TNO (Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research), a three‐wave longitudinal study among lower educated workers in three different companies in The Netherlands. Data from the baseline questionnaire on 213 workers who are not currently participating in training activities are used along with a multiple regression model to test whether subjective norms, perceived behavioral control, attitude/expected value, management support, coworker support, career orientation, job insecurity and prior participation in informal learning correlate with lower educated workers' intentions with respect to training.


This study shows that when stimulating lower educated workers' intentions with respect to training, one should focus on their attitude towards training participation, their subjective norms on training participation and their perceived behavioral control over participating in training. These aspects can be influenced through management support, coworker support and promoting career orientation. These factors contribute to the personal factors and thus, although indirectly, stimulate intentions with respect to training.


This article is the first to present clear ideas on ways to stimulate lower educated workers' intentions to participate in workplace learning activities and to develop interventions to strengthen their current and future labor market position. It also shows that in stimulating lower educated workers' intentions with respect to training the focus should be on individual, as well as organizational, or group factors.



Sanders, J., Oomens, S., Blonk, R.W.B. and Hazelzet, A. (2011), "Explaining lower educated workers' training intentions", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 23 No. 6, pp. 402-416.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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