The purpose of this paper is to assess the French reform of employees’ access to lifelong learning by addressing the issue of the relationship between corporate training policy and employees’ capability to aspire for learning.
The investigation is based on the French linked employer‐employee survey DIFES1, which allows for responses from employees and human resource management to be analysed together. From a mixed ascending hierarchical clustering, the paper highlights the different ways in which the reform was applied within firms, and identifies capability‐friendly backgrounds. From bivariate probit models, it examines what factors affect employees’ capability to aspire.
First, the results identify 10.5 per cent of French firms as capability‐friendly. Second, it reveals that the capability to aspire is even more influenced by the environment as shaped by the corporate training policy than by professional pathways, occupational groups and other determinants, whilst training experiences themselves have no influence. Third, it raises the key issue of capability for voice as a matter of fundamental importance.
Because of the cross‐sectional nature of the survey, the research is not able to address the temporal dynamics of the capability to aspire, how it evolves over time.
In contrast to political pronouncements attributing employees’ lack of aspiration to a personal inclination, the results show how corporate training policies may increase employees’ capability to aspire for training by making it a collective issue and provide insights to combat adaptive preferences.
The research provides, for the first time, an understanding of the relationship between corporate training strategies and the capability to aspire.
Lambert, M. and Vero, J. (2013), "The capability to aspire for continuing training in France : The role of the environment shaped by corporate training policy", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 34 No. 4, pp. 305-325. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-05-2013-0091
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