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Better Training and Better Jobs: A New Partnership for Sectoral Training

Better Training and Better Jobs: A New Partnership for Sectoral Training

Angela Hanks and David Madland make a case for better workforce training, one that would create a partnership among employers, worker organizations, and government.

High-quality workforce training can help workers get good jobs, improve the efficiency of businesses, and boost productivity in the economy. Unfortunately, the United States supports too little workforce training, and the training it does support too often fails to lead to good jobs or boost productivity. Government policy is not currently up to the challenge, and neither businesses nor workers can solve these problems on their own. For this reason, a new kind of policy is necessary to ensure that training improves the productivity of the workforce and leads to high-quality jobs.

Businesses are training far fewer workers than they did in years past, despite being the largest source of funding for workforce training. And when businesses do train their workers, they tend to invest in the ones who are more highly educated or highly paid. Moreover, the way businesses have increasingly chosen to structure work—away from the traditional employment relationship and increasingly toward contracted work—suggests that, in the future, they are likely to reduce their spending on and involvement in training even further.

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Angela Hanks

Director, Workforce Development Policy

David Madland

Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project