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In the margins of training and learning

Heikki Silvennoinen (Department of Education (CELE), University of Turku, Turku, Finland)
Hanna Nori (Department of Education (CELE), University of Turku, Turku, Finland)

Journal of Workplace Learning

ISSN: 1366-5626

Article publication date: 10 April 2017




The purpose of this paper is to examine the distribution of learning and training opportunities in the Finnish workforce. It will concentrate on the sectors of the workforce that lack these opportunities.


The Working Conditions Barometer (WCB) data from 2008, 2009 and 2010 are used (N = 3,326) in this investigation. The focus of the study is to examine those employees whose learning and training opportunities fail to match the positive visions of the current “super professional hype”. The problems associated with the workforce training margin are considered as a part of the so-called work process debate.


Findings suggest that age, gender, type of industry and socioeconomic status have an independent influence on an individual’s presence in the training margin: women, older employees, employees in manufacturing and the private service sector and manual workers have a greater risk than others do. The relative differences between the social classes are still prevalent: incapacity and marginalization are primarily working class problems.

Practical implications

The workers should collectively demand certain benefits more forcefully, even when working under fixed-term contracts. Employers should be pressured to organise development opportunities and training for the fixed-term employees, including the type of training that not only benefits an employee in that one company but also the employees’ working life in general. Employers should be persuaded to organise the type of training that improves the chances of a fixed-term or otherwise powerless employee to find a new, perhaps better and more secure job.


Because the percentage of response to the WCB is exceptionally high, 80 per cent on average, the information obtained from the random sample can be generalised to represent all of the working wage earners in Finland and in a European context as well.



Silvennoinen, H. and Nori, H. (2017), "In the margins of training and learning", Journal of Workplace Learning, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 185-199.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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