What factors influence training opportunities for older workers? Three factorial surveys exploring the attitudes of HR professionals

The core research questions addressed in this paper are: What factors influence HR professionals in deciding whether to approve training proposals for older workers? What kind of training are they more likely to recommend for older employees and in which organizational contexts? We administered three factorial surveys to 66 HR professionals in Italy. Participants made specific training decisions based on profiles of hypothetical older workers. Multilevel analyses indicated that access to training decreases strongly with age, while highly-skilled older employees with low absenteeism rates are more likely to enjoy training opportunities. In addition, older workers displaying positive performance are more likely to receive training than older workers who perform poorly, suggesting that training late in working life may serve as a reward for good performance rather than as a means of enhancing productivity. The older the HR professional evaluating training proposals, the higher the probability that older workers will be recommended for training.

Netspar, Network for Studies on Pensions, Aging and Retirement, is a thinktank and knowledge network. Netspar is dedicated to promoting a wider understanding of the economic and social implications of pensions, aging and retirement in the Netherlands and Europe.

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